Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | February 10, 2016

Creating Fire Breaks

IMG_1903   IMG_1904

We had a great Fire Safe Council meeting Saturday.  Cecelia Borland, Tim Gray FS, Yvonne Vaucher, Josh Balboa FD, Bonnie Phelps (me), Thomas Shoots FD, and Martie Hale FS, plus Gina Aven and Mike Wilson via speaker phone.

Tim Gray explained the ‘Prescribed Burn’ signs we occasionally see at the Summit, and the work they are doing, when the weather permits and sent the message below.

I had a little story to share, too. It was a hot, windy day, August of 2000.  The Pechanga Fire was raging below us to the west.  My husband Don was still working for the Sheriff’s Department.  The talk at the fire camp was that Palomar was in a good position because there had been some ‘recent’ fire break work done.  Don questioned the current conditions out there and volunteered to go put his eyes on it.

I got to be a ride-along that afternoon with Don and a couple of his chain saws.  We drove down Canfield road through the gate out by the Forest Service station, and went along the Palomar Divide Truck Trail. Looking up to the Observatory and driving along the north side of the beautiful French Valley, I couldn’t help but think how different things could be if the fire wasn’t contained.  It was pretty easy going until we got further west.  We stopped several times, dragging branches and using a saw to get all the way out to the Agua Tibia Wilderness area.  With the frequent rains, the brush in the area that had been cleared a few years back, was now 8 to 10 feet high.  Dozers were sent up with a lot of last minute, around the clock drama to help protect Palomar.

We are thankful for Tim and his crews working to create breaks and keep the fire breaks open to hopefully protect Palomar from future fires.  This fire break looks like it is north of the Observatory, out by High Point Fire Lookout.

forest service From: Gray, Tim -FS Subject: Palomar Fuel Break Burn

We may burn on 2/10/2016 thru the rest of the week, if conditions are favorable on the Palomar Divide Truck Trail above the Barker Valley trail head.

Here is a map with the next unit we plan to burn, which is red section.  The black section was burned two weeks ago.


Tim Gray, ADFMO BC-33, Fuels, Prevention
Forest Service R5/CNF/PRD
p: 619-209-1414
1634 Black Canyon Rd Ramona, CA 92065
Caring for the land and serving people


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