Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Controlled Burning at Coe

We hiked at Henry Coe on Monday, and it turned out to be hot and dry, even though there was a lot of low fog in Morgan Hill. There was a CDF crew up there preparing for some prescribed burns. Thanks to the excellent wet season of last winter/spring, wild fires in California have been pleasantly absent from the news. This year’s usual allocation of funding and resources for fighting fires has not needed to be depleted for emergencies. This means that the State parks and CDF are free to team up, using those resources for proactively preventing future damaging wild fires. On Monday, the team was at Coe headquarters contemplating starting a controlled burn on Middle Ridge. As it turned out the day was too hot and dry to proceed at that time. Instead, they utilized the time preparing by cutting breaks around some of the beautiful old growth manzanita groves on Middle Ridge to further protect them during the controlled burn process. There was a similar manzanita section near the Jackass Trail that burned extremely hot during the 2007 Lick Fire, and it was reduced to an ashen moonscape. They told us that the team will begin later in the week when the weather is expected to get cooler, or perhaps light it at night. They plan to light controlled fires on Middle Ridge and parts of Hobb’s Road pending approval from the Bay Area Air Quality District. If you are planning hiking in that region in the near future you may want to reconsider. Check on conditions before departing.

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