100-Acre Fire Mitigation Project in Quarry Park, Funded by Coastal Conservancy Grant

UPDATED Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The San Mateo Resource Conservation District (RCD) has received a $1 million grant from the State Coastal Conservancy to fund a 100-acre fire mitigation project in Quarry County Park located in El Granada. On September 8 we will begin the first phase of work, which will take approximately a week to complete. 

Work will be conducted within 100 feet of select trails throughout the park and will consist of creating shaded fuel breaks by mechanical removal of understory growth less than 10 inches in diameter, including eucalyptus, acacia and cypress. Native plants will be retained. Barricades will be positioned at trailheads near work areas. For everyone’s safety, we ask park users to respect trail closure notices. See the Quarry Park advisory for this project, with a map of the intermittently closed trails »

Shaded fuel breaks function as escape routes and enhance the ability of emergency responders to quickly access and slow the spread of fire to residential areas. The process of reducing dense overgrowth of invasive species to create shaded fuel breaks also supports native plant growth and contributes to forest resiliency. Learn more about the ecological benefits of reducing understory density »

Quarry Park is classified by CAL FIRE as a Very High Fire Severity Zone. The park’s 314-acres is covered by dense growth of non-native eucalyptus on steep slopes adjacent to the community of El Granada. This project builds upon the original 100 acres of fuel reduction work conducted in 2019 as part of the Governor’s 35-High Priority Project list to protect vulnerable populations through fire fuel reduction.   

This is the third project of 2021 in which the San Mateo County Parks Department (Department) and San Mateo RCD will collaborate on forest health and fuel reduction projects to provide ecological and community safety benefits. San Mateo RCD will manage the grant and contract for services in collaboration with the Department. 

Although challenging given the steep slopes of the park, most excess vegetation will be removed from the site. Some remaining material will be chipped or cut into small segments and dispersed on site to assist with erosion control and weed suppression. 

The Coastal Conservancy grant and the strong partnership we have with the RCD means we can get this critical work done now.
~ Nicholas Calderon, Parks Director

The Quarry Park project is one of 32 wildfire fuel reduction projects listed in the Department’s Five-Year Wildfire Fuel Management Program that is focused on improving forest health and community safety.  With this grant, 9 of the 32 projects are now funded for this year. “We invested the time and resources into identifying, evaluating and scoping fuel reduction and fire mitigation projects that improve public safety and are shovel ready when funding like this becomes available, said San Mateo County Parks Director Nicholas Calderon. “The Coastal Conservancy grant and the strong partnership we have with the RCD means we can get this critical work done now.”  

The San Mateo RCD is a public special district that serves as a local hub for conservation efforts in partnership with landowner and land managers. The San Mateo County Parks Department manages 24 parks and more than 16,000 acres of recreational land throughout San Mateo County. Both entities bring the skills and expertise needed to coordinate projects of this size and urgent nature.   

The Department and San Mateo RCD are partners on two other projects focused on improving forest health and reducing fire fuels across 402 acres in Wunderlich and Huddart county parks located in Woodside.

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