Spotted: Escape route from blazing hillsides

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on August 31, 2010

Wildfire evacuation route on Valley Ct in Atherton

It sometimes takes an out of town guest to state the obvious. “Don’t you worry about wildfires?” inquired the friend from Ohio, looking out at the golden hillsides from the Madera restaurant patio.

Many west-of-the-Alameda neighborhoods in Menlo Park and Atherton are adjacent to hills covered with extra tall grass nurtured by the past spring’s late rains. The area is protected by the Menlo Park Fire District, which covers those two towns along with East Palo Alto and some unincorporated areas of San Mateo County. In neighborhoods with only one paved way out, there are marked evacuation routes that could take residents and their animals away from danger.

The San Francisco Peninsula Fire Safe Council offers a free 20-page booklet, Living with Fire, that provides a step-by-step guide to creating a defensible space around your home. It can be downloaded from the Council’s website – it’s the 8th title down on the list.

Photo by Chris Gulker

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