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More photos from controlled burn

By Aaron Kinney
Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 2:35 pm in Environment, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, San Mateo County.

Here are three photos that didn’t make it into today’s paper of a controlled burn Wednesday in the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve.

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District conducted the burn in conjunction with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The district issued a statement today saying weather conditions were favorable and the burn was completed in about four hours:

“The burned area will serve as a fire break during the hotter, drier late summer and fall months, will help control invasive weeds like Harding grass, and increase the abundance and diversity of native California grasses and wildflowers next spring.

“Controlled burns are one of several tools MROSD uses to manage grasslands in the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve for the health of the environment and to reduce fire hazard. Four controlled burns have been successfully implemented at Russian Ridge since 1998, and have proven effective in controlling brush, reducing invasive plants, and improving the native grasslands, which are adapted to periodic fire. As a result, Russian Ridge has become a popular Bay Area destination to see spring wildflowers. Other techniques used in combination with controlled burns at Russian Ridge include grazing, seeding, mowing, bio-control insects and selective herbicide application.”

The burn also provided “a valuable opportunity for local fire agencies to practice wildland firefighting and interagency coordination,” according to the statement. “Firefighters from CAL FIRE, the La Honda Fire Brigade, the King’s Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade, the Palo Alto Fire Department and the Ben Lomond Fire Camp as well as rangers from the City of Palo Alto and MROSD participated.”

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