A controlled burn in the area of Kings Mountain Road on Tuesday, Feb. 18, was visible nearby, but not in the more populated areas east of the Interstate 280 freeway as the San Mateo County Fire Department burned piles of excess vegetation near the entrance to Huddart Park, according to Sarah Collamer, a forester with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).
More burning is anticipated to take place through Friday, Feb. 21, according to a fire department release.
The work is the final stage of the Kings Mountain Road Emergency Shaded Fuel Break project authorized by a state of emergency declared by Gov. Gavin Newsom mandating that 35 high-risk areas across the state receive immediate wildfire mitigation work, according to the release.
Crews are burning trees that fell victim to sudden oak death as well as debris from recent project work.
The burn is a pile burn rather than a broadcast burn, Collamer said, meaning that CalFire is burning material that was cut up and stacked in piles. The department tweeted Tuesday that it has 100 debris piles to burn this week.
"We do this very often in Santa Cruz County compared with San Mateo because the air quality district there is more permissive," she said.
Permission is needed from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District anytime material is burned in the open air. The district has stopped charging fees to encourage the reduction in fuels that can ignite in a wildfire.
The agencies that are burning have to do a study before proceeding to make sure they aren't damaging the environment, Collamer said.
People who see smoke coming from the Kings Mountain Road area are being asked not to report it, according to the fire department release.