Healdsburg Fire Department to Make Fitch Mountain Safer

The City of Healdsburg Fire Department will be working with CalFire crews, LandPaths and equipment provided by Sonoma County Fire & Emergency Services to reduce fire fuels at Fitch Mountain Preserve and make the preserve’s fire roads more accessible.

This fire-risk abatement work is done annually and is needed now more than ever after the October 2017 fires. Crews will work February 1-15, before bird-nesting season. Consequently, Riverview Trail will be closed to walking traffic February 1-2. This year’s work will cut fire fuels while keep the natural beauty of the area; the focus areas this year:

  • Where the Fitch Mountain Preserve extends along N. Fitch Mountain Road and surrounding structures
  • Riverview Road and trail where the Fitch Mountain Preserve touches the road and trail
  • The area separating the Fitch Mountain Preserve from the Villa Chanticleer, which is outside of the Preserve but is densely grown with vegetation

In 2015, the focus was to open the fire roads on Fitch Mountain and create shaded fuel breaks. In 2016, it was an extensive broom eradication and control burn operation along the Butterfly Trail. This provided a scenic trail along a mid-slope road on the south side of the Fitch Mountain Preserve overlooking the Russian River while creating a mid-slope fire break. In, 2017, LandPaths continued maintenance of the fuels on Fitch Mountain Preserve and started fuels reduction along N. Fitch Mountain Road.

This important fire-risk reduction work is part of the Fitch Mountain Fire Risk Abatement Plan (FRAP) drafted by City of Healdsburg Fire Marshal Linda Collister in collaboration with Sonoma County Ag & Open Space, LandPaths, CalFire, the residents of Fitch Mountain, Sonoma County Fire & Emergency Services, and the City’s Fire Department and Parks and Recreation Department.

The FRAP follows the recommendations in the Fitch Mountain Park and Open Space Preserve Management Plan adopted by the City of Healdsburg on November 20, 2017.