Kings Creek Truck Trail project

In July 2010 the South Skyline, Soquel and Bonny Doon Fire Safe Councils submitted a combined grant application to create fuel breaks along strategic roads.  The South Skyline part would create a fuel break and emergency access route over the Kings Creek Truck Trail (KCTT).  It would help protect several communities against another wildfire like the one in July 2008.  Implementation is tentatively expected in late 2011. See our update page here.

The KCTT runs from Skyline Blvd. near the Castle Rock parking lot to Kings Creek County Road which connects it to Highway 9.  It was originally implemented by Calfire in the mid-1950s to provide fire truck access in the wildland triangle formed by Skyline Blvd., Highway 9, and Bear Creek Road.  However in recent decades maintenance by Calfire has been sporadic due to funding limitations.  As a result fighting the wildfire in Castle Rock State Park in July 2008 was delayed by nearly half a day while the KCTT was cleared to allow fire truck access. 

Calfire has identified KCTT fuel break as a strategic element in planning to fight future wildfires in the area.  Because it lies almost entirely on ridge tops it would serve as a major line of defense protecting homes in Las Cumbres, Deer Creek, Skyline Blvd., Kings Creek, etc.  Although much of it lies on State Park land, it crosses a number of private parcels and is therefore generally not open to the public. 

See the KCTT Photo Page and KCTT Before and After

The plan is to implement a “fuel” break rather than “fire” break.  The difference is that a fire break is cut clear of all vegetation while a fuel break only thins the vegetation.  It leaves a mosaic of shrubbery and shaded fuel breaks.  The latter involves removing theunderstory, thinning trees and removing lower limbs.  Fuel breaks inhibit the spread of fire, reduce its intensity and allow fire equipment access.  They also provide escape routes for residents.  Both mechanical mastication and hand labor will be used. 

A critical element in winning the grant is matching local support.  It is measured by the amount of in-kind support and cash committed.  In-kind includes labor, observation of inmate work crews, organization of demonstration workshops, preparation of educational materials, etc.  

The Skyline community has committed an outstanding amount of support; more than $24,000 of in-kind support and $4,000 in cash!   Future maintenance of the fuel break is included.  In addition Calfire and State Parks have committed substantial in-kind support.  The estimated cost of the project is approximately $108,000.  

Thank you to all who have made commitments for this project and who will be participating in its implementation! 

In the Fall of 2010 we received word that our grant application was ranked number one among all submitted in the entire State.  A final decision on funding the grant is expected in April or May of 2011 and work should start late in the summer or in the fall.