University Police

Emergency Management

East Campus Wildfire Prevention Project

Abundant vegetation, shrubs, trees and grasses surround the East Campus community and the Inter-Garrison Road corridor. Emergency Manager Ken Folsom has secured a CAL FIRE grant, “California State University, Monterey Bay, East Campus Wildfire Fuel Reduction,” to reduce and manage the threat of wildfire to the community. 

The grant funds work that is scheduled to begin in the East Campus housing area and along Inter-Garrison Road on July 24, and will last approximately 3 - 6 weeks.

The scope of work includes:

  • Cutting grasses and trimming trees and brush around homes
  • Pruning branches away from structures in side yards; fenced-in areas, patios, and front yards will not be affected
  • Removing dead trees, brush, plants, grass, weeds, and other vegetation, which may be thinned, chipped and left on-site, or hauled off-site
  • Creating a defensible space perimeter around homes that hampers the spread of fire.

All work will follow applicable regulations and be monitored by a certified arborist and qualified biologist to ensure sensitive habitats and plant species are avoided. Residents can expect crews to work around and behind housing units but not in backyards. Crews will work approximately 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and possibly Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; landscaping noise and dust may occur; and traffic is not expected to be impacted. 

Resources for more information:

You can help reduce wildfire threats by understanding how wildfires begin and spread, by following some simple practices, and understanding the work the university undertakes to ensure your safety and security. 

Understanding and managing wildfires:

  • The wildland-urban interface our campus enjoys, with its proximity to Fort Ord’s plethora of shrubs, trees and other flora, also makes it more vulnerable to wildfire
  • Fire threat is typically lower in the wet winter months, and increases throughout the drier summer months and into the fall
  • Some wildfire prevention maintenance activities occur regularly and are managed by property management and landscape companies, including the removal of dry leaves and pine needles from yards and rain gutters 

Wildfire management principles you should know about:

  • Defensible space - A buffer between homes and surrounding grasses, trees, shrubs, and wildlands, which slows or stops the spread of wildfire and protects homes from embers, direct flame contact, or radiant heat
    • Defensible space zones are buffer zones, and consist of three ranges:
      • Zone 0: starts closest to your home or building (backyards excluded)
      • Zone 1: keep it lean, clean and green within 30 feet
      • Zone 2: 100 feet of defensible space is required by law
  • Vertical space management - Tall, dry grasses help fire climb into even taller trees, so removing those grasses and trimming those trees are important prevention strategies
  • Horizontal space management - Creating horizontal space between buildings, shrubs, and trees also helps eliminate wildfire spread

Ken Folsom, a former volunteer firefighter, recommends steps the campus community can take to reduce human causes of wildfire and prepare for the event of a wildfire threat. 

Steps you can take to reduce wildfire risk:

  • Do not set off fireworks anywhere on East Campus at any time
  • Do not park vehicles on top of tall grass because hot exhaust systems can ignite fires
  • Ensure ignited barbecue coals are completely extinguished with water, and never dump them in grassy areas
  • Secure tow chains so they do not strike the road and emit sparks
  • Do not throw cigarettes onto the ground
  • Limit combustible items, such as outdoor furniture, planters, and the like, on top of decks

Be prepared and plan now by: