The Hayward Fire Department often works with neighbors in Hayward Hills, Fairview Fire Protection District, and Five-Canyons to help identify locations for potential defensible space demonstration project sites showcasing the need for and effectiveness of defensible space. The goal of the demonstration project is to provide defensible space education to the communities in our high fire hazard areas.
Past fuel reduction projects were in part funded by grants from the Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, though the California Fire Safe Council and is intended to be used as an example of what defensible space and vegetation management should look like in our community. This year our defensible space projects and programs will be partly funded by FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The grant project consists of educating the Hayward Hills, Fairview Fire Protection District, and Five-Canyons Communities on wildfire behavior, defensible space, and demonstrate how to create defensible space on their own properties.
For defensible space demonstration projects crews will limb up trees, chip the down and dead fuels and clear the area of tall grasses and flammable materials, leaving bushes and trees spaced according to fire safe guidelines. Prior to work a biologist will walk the project site and identify habitat areas of native grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees to be protected.
This is all part of our year-round vegetation management fire-safe program efforts that also include:
Funding awarded to the City of Hayward is allowing us to prepare for and implement a large-scale defensible space demonstration project. The location the Hayward Fire Department has selected is an area along the Hayward Plunge Trail at the start of Memorial Park. Below is an area map of the selected demonstration project site as well as two examples of the type of defensible space demonstration sites we are looking for.
The area between Hayward Plunge Trail and the homes towards Leona Dr. and Marie Dr. is abundant with dead vegetation and ladder fuels. This area also sees a fair amount of foot traffic coming from hikers on the Hayward Plunge Trail. There is evidence of past encampments, which are unfortunately a frequent source of fire starts. The streets are extremely narrow and would cause issues with evacuation and concurrent fire-fighting efforts.