A SCC FireSafe Council, City of Palo Alto and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Partnership to Improve Wildland Fire Safety

Page Mill Road is an important wildfire evacuation route for local residents, commuters and visitors. The City of Palo Alto’s 2016 Foothills Fire Management Plan identifies removing approximately 100 eucalyptus trees along this roadway as a high priority. 

The goals of this project are to restore the site to a more natural state that: 

  • Reduces wildfire risk and severity
  • Better support native plants and wildlife
  • Creates safer ingress and egress along a key wildfire evacuation route
  • Builds on recently completed Page Mill Road fuel reduction projects for increased community wildfire safety

Eucalyptus are an introduced species from Australia that are highly flammable and drop dry flammable debris. The eucalyptus trees identified in Palo Alto’s plan are located along the east side of Page Mill Road on public land managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) within the City of Palo Alto’s boundaries.

Mipen is partnering with the Santa Clara County Fire Safe Council and the City of Palo Alto to implement this project with support from a federal grant. The work is tentatively scheduled to begin in September 2020. The project includes site surveys by Midpen-approved biologists and archeologists, to ensure all regulations are followed and care is taken to protect natural and cultural resources.

After eucalyptus removal  a passive restoration plan will be implemented. This plan encourages the growth of existing, more fire-resistant native vegetation on the site, including small oak and toyon trees. The plan also includes monitoring for and removing invasive plant species, and sowing native acorns as needed. 

Contact: Midpen Skyline Area Manager Craig Beckman, (650) 949-1848 cbeckman@openspace.org