In Burlingame during the summer and fall of 2013, CAL FIRE hand crews will create a shaded fuel-break along the boundaries of Mills Canyon Park, providing a reduced fuel buffer zone between the park’s vegetation and neighboring homes. The objectives will be to disrupt the horizontal continuity of surface fuels, vertical continuity resulting from ladder fuels, and increase shrub and understory crown spacing in a shaded fuel break that will provide greater defensible space for most properties at the park’s boundaries.
Mills Canyon Shaded Fuel Break Project
The project will be conducted in Mills Canyon, within the City limits of Burlingame, California. Treatment area will be between 10 and 18 acres. Elevation of the project area is approximately 2000 feet. Slopes are variable, ranging from near zero to over 50 percent. The north side of the canyon is in the City of Burlingame end the South side is in unincorporated San Mateo County. Property ownership within the project area is a mix of private lands in unincorporated San Mateo County and the City of Burlingame.
The project will utilize hand crews to create a minimum 30’ shaded fuel break in the canyon that will extend approximately 2 miles around the Canyon. The objectives will be to disrupt the horizontal continuity of surface fuels, vertical continuity resulting from ladder fuels, and increase shrub and understory crown spacing. Woodland formations will be treated with a "thin from below” approach reducing surface and ladder fuels and increasing understory crown spacing. The lower limbs of “leave” trees will be pruned to a height of 6 to 8 feet. Cut material will generally be chipped and spread uniformly on-site or hauled away` invasive species treated having mature seed will not be chipped and spread onsite; instead it will be hauled off-site and disposed of properly or out and laid within exiting areas of infestation, lopped to a height of 12 inches or less. No trees over 6” dbh are proposed for removal, unless needed for access or safety reasons.
Vegetation in the project area is primarily Coast Live Oak, California Bay Laurel, Tanbark Oak, Madrone, Buckeye and Redwoods. Common shrubs include toyon, coastal sage, ceanothus, scrub oak, and coyote brush. Native grasses and wildflowers are also present. Non-native species include Acacia baileyana, ivy, and french broom.
Annual, recurring hand crew maintenance is planned for the proposed project.