Fire Stories

Fire stories from the national parks highlight events, incidents, and the like, associated with fire and fuels management, as well as fire education, technology, partnerships, and more. Stories highlight work related to Department of the Interior initiatives as well as local and regional initiatives.

The Mount Wanda fuel reduction project, completed along ½ mile of the Mount Wanda Fire Road at John Muir National Historic Site, enhances the fire road's function as a fuel break.

Mount Wanda Fuel Reduction Improves Fire Protection on Historic Property

John Muir National Historic Site, California

In June 2006, fuel reduction was completed along ½ mile of the Mount Wanda Fire Road at John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California to enhance the fire road's function as a fuel break. The Mount Wanda Fire Road is a 14 foot wide, unpaved road maintained by Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. The Mount Wanda fuel reduction project was accomplished in 3 days of work by a 4-person National Park Service hazardous fuels crew, based out of Point Reyes National Seashore. Three foot tall grass on either side of the fire road was cut to less than 3 inches, increasing the width of the fuel break to 30 feet.

The Mount Wanda property is 326 acres of oak woodland, located on the south side of Highway 4, next to a heavily developed area. It is part of the the original 2,600 acre ranch owned by the Muir family, and includes the present day Strain Ranch which is in operation today. The open space of Mount Wanda is directly adjacent to East Bay Regional Parks, which together create a wildland-urban interface with neighborhoods in Martinez.

The Mount Wanda Fire Road provides emergency access for the protection of the house, outbuildings, and livestock on the Mount Wanda property. It also plays an important role in fire protection for the private homes at Sky Ranch, a subdivision located 1/8 of a mile upslope from National Park Service lands.

Contact: Alex Naar, Fire Management Officer
Phone: (415) 331-6374