Tree Felling in Drought-stricken Areas near UC Berkeley Campus helps reduce the Risk of Fire

by / Thursday, 28 January 2021 / Published in Blog

Recently, Bay Area Tree Specialists were called on, to take on the monstrous task of felling roughly 1,300 eucalyptus trees and various other varieties that posed a significant fire risk in the Oakland Hills near the UC Berkeley campus. Not only were they felled to lessen the risk of fire, these trees could potentially fall and block the escape route along Claremont Canyon Road in the event of a massive fire or natural disaster. To say the least, the gigantic project required experienced and safe tree felling, hauling, and chipping of these materials.

Our involvement in the Project

Bay Area Tree Specialists is a full-service tree care and emergency services provider that maintains the health of numerous tree species from the Bay Area to the greater San Jose area. As Northern California’s premier tree care specialists, the highly skilled and trained tree fellers as well as crew members welcomed the challenge of such a huge project. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of our company and UC Berkeley, the hazardous trees were removed and safer fire fuel breaks were developed. This would ensure the safety of college students and the surrounding community.

Challenges of the Project

The primary challenge that Bay Area Tree Specialists faced was the geography of the canyon itself and the vegetation that grows within it. The terrain is funnel-shaped and the vegetation becomes increasingly drier year by year because of the warming climate. The combination of the two elements creates a chimney effect that would be nothing short of devastating should a fire break out.

Winds blowing in from the west could push radiation and heat up the canyon slopes. Combine that with eastern winds coming over the ridge and the flames would literally be racing down the slopes of the Oakland Hills, leaving burned out homes and vegetation in their wake. This scenario would be similar to the 2018 Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles County that started north of Agoura Hills, jumped the Ventura Freeway (US 101), and didn’t stop until it had nearly reached Pacific Coast Highway 1.

Elimination of Risk

Given the potential for destruction and devastation based on the above conditions, UC Berkeley needed professionals to come in and remove the burn fuel (trees) and those professionals were the Bay Area Tree Specialists team members. As a result, the Claremont Canyon Evacuation Support Project was born thanks to the efforts of UC Berkeley and a $3.6 million Cal Fire grant.

Furthermore, the slopes that were affected by the tree removal process were stabilized with jute rolls, another aspect of the project that our team members handled in adequate fashion. By stabilizing the hill slopes with this biodegradable material, the dirt is kept in place so that new vegetation can grow through the material and eventually recover the hillside once the drought has ended.

For more information regarding the Claremont Canyon Evacuation Support Project or to learn how we can help you lessen the risk of fire on your property, call Bay Area Tree Specialists for a FREE estimate at (408) 836-9147 or (650) 353-5671 today.

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