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Parks Fire - Background

Aerial photo of Hood Mountain Park shows dozer line firebreak 500

Hood Mountain

The impact of the fires on Regional Parks was substantial. At Hood Mountain Regional Park, more than 50% of the park burned. Extensive large fire suppression breaks were created, including a very large one through the pygmy forest. A “safety zone” on the Lawson Expansion was created which left wide swaths of equipment-disturbed acreage needing repair. Retaining walls, fences, signs and other amenities are being repaired. Click here to learn about the Hood Mountain project to replace the burned bridge and culvert.

Aerial photo showing dozer line firebreak at Hood Mountain

There is grave danger at Hood of debris flow hazards. Many burned areas suffered extreme fire temperatures, and soils and rocks on steep slopes were exposed. The burning of the vegetation, and in some cases tree root structure, left gaping holes along road and trail corridors and exceedingly steep slopes, which has created the hazards of rock fall and mudslides. During and after the fire, burned and fallen trees fell into drainages, which added to the debris flow hazard.

Fire caused outside edge of trails on steep slopes to crumble in high-severity burn areas and holes in the trails where trees have burned all the way into their root cavities.

Fire suppression at Hood included dozer line firebreaks, hand line firebreaks, and the creation of a large safety zone. Dozer line firebreaks included both single-track dozer lines approximately 10-feet wide to large swaths of land at Hood where an area hundreds of feet wide was cleared.

Additionally, Lawson Peak was cleared as a safety zone, which allowed firefighting crews a location of protection if the fire continued to blaze through the firebreak.

  1. The southeast half of the park was damaged by both fire and suppression. This included everything south and east of Pythian Road through the Park and Panorama Trail.
  2. Damage alongside Panorama Ranch Trail (from the summit to Lawson) includes a bulldozer clearing which is hundreds of feet wide.
  3. Several hand line and single-track dozer lines radiate from that large bulldozer clearing.
  4. Hand and dozer lines were created near the Hood Pythian entrance and parking lot.

Shiloh Ranch Regional Park

Approximately 90% of Shiloh Ranch Regional Park burned. Dozer fire breaks laced through the park including one stream crossing. The Park was integral in the control of the Tubbs Fire to protect the Town of Windsor, as Cal Fire was able to bulldoze fire breaks and perform back-burns.

Efforts to suppress the spread of the fire resulted in a web of single track dozer lines and hand-line firebreaks. In areas where it was too steep for dozing lines, hand-lines were used instead. Dozer lines were dug through streams and stream beds which were repaired before rain caused erosion damage. The fire damage to steep slopes and creek canyons that were burned bare make erosion control efforts essential. The roads and trails along deep creek canyons are exposed to the possibility of eroding into creeks with heavy rains and/or large debris flows. The damage to infrastructure at Shiloh included benches, signage, fencing and tables. Click here to learn about the Shiloh Ranch project to replace the three retaining walls and the burned culvert.

Sonoma Valley Regional Park

In Sonoma Valley Regional Park, 100% of the park burned. There were several bulldozer lines created to slow the progress of the fire. Additionally, there were burned amenities at Sonoma Valley, with fencing and signs being damaged. The Elizabeth Perrone Dog Park was untouched by the fire.

Tom Schopflin Fields

The Tom Schopflin Fields, a 21-acre complex of sports fields on Old Redwood Highway, was directly in the path of the Tubbs firestorm as it swept through Larkfield and jumped Highway 101 into Northwest Santa Rosa. At Schopflin Fields, there was damage to fencing and amenities, and impacts to the turf are being assessed.

Tolay Lake Regional Park

At Tolay Lake Regional Park, a small area of the park (about 20 acres) burned in the southwest-most section. Fences in this area were burned and will need to be repaired.

Crane Creek Regional Park

At Crane Creek Regional Park east of Rohnert Park, 27% of the park burned in the Nuns Fire. Amenities such as fencing, signs, benches and tables were burned.