WHAT: Crews will thin a dense grove of eucalyptus trees and heavy brush along the ridgeline at the top of Claremont Canyon, reducing the fuel available to feed a fire. The work is part of a coordinated project on University of California, Berkeley wildlands to diminish the threat of fire in the Oakland hills.
WHEN: Monday, July 23 through Friday, July 27. Cleanup work may continue through Aug. 13.
WHERE: The southwestern corner of the intersection of Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Claremont Avenue/Fish Ranch Road is the north end of a low "saddle" that can funnel the seasonal Diablo winds westward through the steep Claremont and Gwin canyons. The project area covers about 2 acres of the saddle.
BACKGROUND: UC Berkeley will remove much of this critical location's high-grade fuel, including the eucalyptus trees' highly flammable oil, shredded bark and aerodynamic leaves that can act as flying torches when made airborne by the strong winds.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District plans a complementary vegetation clearance project along Grizzly Peak Boulevard, south of the UC Berkeley site.
Both jurisdictions belong to the Hills Emergency Forum, a consortium created to lead and facilitate fire prevention, fire suppression and emergency planning after the 1991 Oakland hills firestorm. The forum has endorsed the Claremont Canyon project.