Saturday, May 31, 2008

Time to Vote!

Alice Wesson is a candidate for Altadena Town Council representing our Census Tract. She is also a fellow leader with FireSafe Councils representing the Chaney Trail area.

Alice has attended our neighborhood meetings and FireSafe Councils. Please consider supporting her at the upcoming elections on June 21.

More information is available at

Closest election site is at Loma Alta Park.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tree Removal Underway

The removal of dead, diseased and fire-prone trees has been taking place over the past two weeks.

Ninety-seven trees were identified for removal during the assessment phase of this first FireSafe grant. A first sweep through the neighborhood took place last week in which "easy" removals were accomplished. This weeks efforts have been focused on the "harder" trees which include large and not easily accessed trees.

A decision was made by The Meadows FireSafe Council a few weeks ago to prioritize our efforts and the budget as we continue to learn the processes of managing our first grant. We're maximizing the budget as best we can. It made sense to use the remaining funds for tree removal first and will address tree trimming with any remaining funds.

So, stay tuned and stay engaged. We're making our neighborhood fire safe tree by tree.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Specifics on Upcoming Tree Removal

As we start the tree removal within The Meadows, here's some specifics:

  • Trees will be removed with stumps left behind. These stumps will be approximately 10" high. The stump will be treated with Round-Up to kill the stump.
  • Stumps will be untreated in slide-potential areas to prevent a slide during rainier times
  • If you'd like chips for mulch or firewood from the tree removals, please let us know as this will reduce the amount of time and expense incurred and will allow us to address more of the fuel reduction issues.

We're doing our best to address all of the assessed properties. Please know that we have a limited budget and may need to adjust our scope as we move through the neighborhood. If anyone wants us to leave the logs for firewood or wants chippings left at their property, please let me know as this will reduce the number of man hours required for this job.

We're beginning Monday at the top of Risinghill and will move through the neighborhood over the next two weeks. I'll be calling each affected neighbor to confirm timing and selection of trees or bushes as each are marked over the coming weeks.

Please be patient as we move through this new process.

Meadows FireSafe Council in Action

The clearing of brush in the vicinity of the Altadena “Meadows” started in mid-April along the upper reaches of Rising Hill Road and in Millard Canyon. The work is being done by Gothic [full name needed] and funded by a grant from the California Fire Safe Council.

Contrary to the expectations of some, the area is not being clear-cut. Grasses are trimmed close to the ground and scattered. Trees other than oak, along with the taller specimens of the chaparral are trimmed up (“lollipopped,”—a descriptive word coined for want of a better term) instead of being removed. The smaller trimmings are run through a chipper where feasible, or else cut up into short pieces and left lying in place.

This technique results in a desirable balance between fire prevention and erosion control. The roots of plants that are left standing prevent erosion. The chopped up twigs, lying close to the ground, are not easily ignited, so that a subsequent fire can be easily managed, whereas without the brush clearance it could easily rage out of control. The chopped-up vegetation does further service in several ways. It discourages the growth of grasses which would support wildfires and helps prevent or limit erosion on the steep hillsides.

Oak trees are a protected species in California and are left untouched. Unlike other trees in the area, such as the laurel-leaf sumac, eucalyptus and evergreens, the oaks are not easily ignited, and it is therefore unlikely that they will contribute to the intensity of a fire when the area around them has been cleared of highly flammable vegetation.

Homeowners are responsible for clearing brush that lies within 200 feet of their buildings. The deadline for brush removal is May 15, and non-compliance can result in fines.

In El Prieto Canyon, the City of Pasadena sees to brush removal. That area is predominantly grass.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tree and Bush Removal Begins

Tree and bush removals approved by homeowners during the assessment phase of The Meadows FireSafe grant, will begin the week of May 19, 2008.

On May 16, members of the FireSafe Council will be touring the neighborhood with Steven's Tree Service, the vendor that was selected for the job. Our L.A. County Fire Department representative, J. Lopez, has already begun marking the trees and bushes with a green marking on trees and orange tape on bushes. Marking will continue over the next two weeks.

If you are an owner that has given the FireSafe Council permission to do this work, please note the marking to ensure that they're correct.

If you’re interested in additional tree trimming (or other work) not covered by the grant, Steven’s Tree Service can be contacted at 626-794-6911.

Rock Thrown Through Window

A neighbor at the corner of Aralia and Gravelia reported that a rock was thrown through their kitchen window at about 11:15 p.m. this past Saturday night. A sheriff's report was filed. If anyone has any information, please send a comment to this blog.

I know I heard a loud party going on in The Meadows on Saturday night. Any chance this is related?