“This is necessary, and comes at an opportune time — in the midst of yet another intense fire season,” said Simitian, whose District 5 includes the higher-risk wildland-urban interface stretching from Los Altos Hills in the north to San Jose’s Almaden Valley in the south. “We know that regular maintenance of dense trees and brush goes a long way toward reducing severe wildfire risk and restoring healthy forest conditions.”
The board on Tuesday also approved a five-year lease agreement with the Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District for a 2,400-square-foot modular building in Vasona Lake County Park, located in Los Gatos and part of the Santa Clara County Parks system. Central Fire will base its pilot pre-fire management and wildfire resilience program crew in the building, which was previously occupied by Parks and Recreation Department staff.
Instead of paying rent on the building, Central Fire has the option to provide training to park staff and perform fuel reduction activities at Vasona and other county parks, including removing hazardous fuels from around structures.
The approved agreement comes with two five-year extension options.
“This is a win-win for Parks and Central Fire, and also for the surrounding communities around our County parks,” Simitian said. “It will give Central Fire a presence at Vasona, and we get some use out of a building that had been sitting empty but will now be used for a program that makes our communities safer.”