Town Square

Post a New Topic

Grand jury says entire county at risk of wildfire

Original post made on Jul 15, 2019

A San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury report released on July 9 warns residents of urban areas not to be complacent about wildfires since high winds can drive swarms of embers long distances and ignite vulnerable structures.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 12, 2019, 4:41 PM

Sponsored
6 Steps to master the home buying process during a pandemic
Your no-stress guide to buying a home no matter what the circumstance.

Comments (7)

2 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Jul 15, 2019 at 12:32 pm

The report does not mention the possibility of a west to east wind causing a leap across 280 to residential areas is quite unlikely. Onshore winds are mostly cold and foggy. Most likely, an off shore wind blowing from the East Bay will blow hot dry air over the area increasing the chances of an urban conflagration.


Like this comment
Posted by the Santa Anas
a resident of Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Jul 15, 2019 at 12:40 pm

@Robert:

I agree completely. Not to belittle the very real dangers of fires from the west, any one who's been around here knows all the big fires occur when natural wind direction shifts, in the style referred to as "the Santa Anas" in our Southland.

All the conflagrations in the north over the last few years have been driven by inland winds.

Odd that the grand jury didn't note that, or if they did, it went unreported.


Like this comment
Posted by awatkins
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jul 15, 2019 at 1:23 pm

The report itself can be found at Web Link

(Good journalistic practice includes giving the reader the ability to access source material. Hint, hint.)

Surprise, surprise, there is only one short paragraph about PREVENTION including one glaring falsehood, namely
“...public funds may only be used to fund projects on public lands.”. Excuse me, but the town of Woodside reimburses homeowners for money spent on defensible space projects. The rest of the paragraph really only records that some public agencies do some, but has no comment on whether they are adequate.

So, no recommendations about reducing fuel load or even improving evacuation routes. It’s all about passively accepting wildfires, and focusing on dealing with the aftermath. Even PG&E knows better than that.

Grand Jury: how about finishing the job by evaluating prevention and mitigation activities?


2 people like this
Posted by JD
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Jul 15, 2019 at 1:25 pm

We needed a Grand Jury to tell us this? Are we going to convene a Grand Jury next cold and flu season to tell us to wash our hands frequently and get the flu shot?


Like this comment
Posted by awatkins
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jul 15, 2019 at 1:39 pm

The Woodside “Evacuation Plan” is hard to find but it’s located here: Web Link.

It’s really an emergency management plan intended for public agents, and appears to be a work in progress.

However, starting almost exactly half way through at the 31st page is a series of evacuation route maps.


2 people like this
Posted by awatkins
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jul 15, 2019 at 1:42 pm

JD —

No, because those recommendations would help PREVENT cold or flu. An analogous Grand Jury report on cold and flu would list places to buy kleenex.


Like this comment
Posted by GM
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jul 17, 2019 at 9:16 am

Winds coming from the west are often accompanied by a moist marine layer. The idea that a wind whipped fire will move from the west towards the bay, jumping 280 defies the actual conditions on the ground during these coastal fog events. Woodside is 10 miles east from the Pacific Ocean, Santa Rosa is 22.5 miles east of the Pacific. Yes, climate change has and will continue to create extreme fire behavior. Unfortunately comparing Woodside to the conditions during the Coffee fire, where diablo winds blowing from the northeast brought humidity in the single digits is not the scenario described in the article. The Almanac might as well say Livermore, which sits 22.5 miles from the San Francisco bay, shares similar weather conditions with Woodside.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.
Sponsored

Wonders of the water: Meet the tide pool whisperer of the San Mateo coastline
Dive into the aquatic oddities, coastal creatures and other rapidly-disappearing denizens of the Peninsula shores.

 

Get important election coverage sent straight to your inbox daily.

Vons drops Korean fried chicken on downtown Redwood City
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 20,888 views

What I will remember about Ruth Bader Ginsburg
By Diana Diamond | 5 comments | 2,277 views

Are our recycling bins too big?
By Sherry Listgarten | 7 comments | 1,864 views

Premarital and Couples: See "Buck" for Couple's Tips
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,218 views

I am Voting Yes on Measure RR to Provide Caltrain a Dedicated Revenue Source
By Steve Levy | 5 comments | 1,087 views

 

Benefiting local non-profits

The 36th annual Moonlight Run and Walk is Friday evening, October 2, wherever you are! Proceeds go to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, benefiting local non-profits that serve families and children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Join us under the light of the full Harvest Moon on a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon.

Register Today!