San Rafael, CA – To reduce reduce hazardous wildfire fuels and improve biodiversity, piles of cut acacia plants will be burned June 24-26 in the Old Saint Hilary’s Open Space Preserve in the hills above Tiburon. Neighbors on the Tiburon Peninsula can expect to see and smell smoke during the operation.
Marin County Fire Department (MCFD), Marin County Parks, and the Tiburon Fire Protection District are collaborating on the project, and Marin County Fire personnel will take the lead on burning about 150 piles.
If weather conditions are optimal, piles will be burned June 24-26.
Weather conditions permitting, the burn is scheduled for June 24-26.
If conditions are appropriate, preparations will take place Monday, June 24. Residents will see fire personnel, fire engines, and other vehicles and equipment in the Vistazo West Street area within the 122-acre preserve. If smoke dispersal is sufficient, burning will take place between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day or until the project is completed.
“We do our best to get the word out in advance, so people aren’t alarmed about a wildfire or inundating our 9-1-1 dispatchers,” said Christie Neill, MCFD’s Vegetation Management Battalion Chief.
Much of the debris is from acacia trees that were cut in fall 2018 to stop them from spreading in the drainages and stealing water from native plants. Not only does the important fuel reduction project help minimize the risk of wildfire impacts to the adjacent neighborhood, it also put a halt to an invasive stand of trees that was rapidly spreading into endangered plant habitat.
Marin County Parks plans to close hiking trails in the area with the assistance of its ranger staff. MCFD and Parks personnel will be on site during the pile burning to interpret and educate residents on the use of controlled fire.
This project is funded by Marin County Parks and Open Space Measure A, a 2012 quarter-cent retail transactions and use tax, which supports County parks and open space and programs, local cities and town parks and programs, land acquisition and farmland preservation.