We Must Protect Community From Future Catastrophic Fires

Photo credit: M.D. Vaden – Coast Redwood Sprouts

Dear Green Foothills Community,

Our hearts go out to those impacted by the massive CZU and SCU wildfires. Although the full extent of the impact is unknown, thousands of people had to flee their homes and too many do not have a home to go back to. Compounding stress is taking a toll on the entire community.

The life cycles of many plants and trees depend on fire. California tribes knew this and practiced cultural burns for thousands of years to stimulate growth and biodiversity. It’s understood that many decades of fire suppression have created conditions that, combined with climate change, put our region at greater risk of hotter and more devastating wildfires.

Green Foothills is thinking deeply about what our long-term response should be to protect our community from future catastrophic wildfires. We know that climate change will bring hotter summers and more extreme weather events like the lightning strikes that started the current fires. The Bay Area, and all of California, must learn how to live with our “new normal” and how to work with nature. 

We will continue to advocate for land use policies to protect people, wildlife, and natural landscapes. This means both keeping homes and businesses out of harm’s way, and adjusting land management practices to better match the fire-adapted natural landscapes and vegetation found in much of our area in order to protect existing structures.

We want to ground our long term strategy in response to these wildfires with input from the community. If you have thoughts, please send it on to [email protected] or use this form. For those still gathering thoughts and learning more, you can also refer to previous articles written by our staff: Primary Factor Creating Wildfire Risk is Land Use, Saving Homes and Lives from Wildfire, and Conservation Grazing on the San Mateo Coast.

What You Can Do

Now is a time for self care and community care. We need to take care of ourselves, and we need to take care of one another. 

  1. Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s San Mateo & Santa Clara County Fire Relief Fund. Donations support nonprofit organizations that are working directly with individuals and families who have been harmed by this disaster. 
  2. Local wildlife and domestic animals are being served by Wildlife Center of the Silicon Valley, Peninsula Humane Society, and Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center.
  3. You can provide and receive direct support through the Facebook community: Bay Area families helping CZU, LNU, & SCU fire victims & evacuees.

Also, all are welcome to join us for a Green Foothills Community Meditation on Tuesday, September 8 from 8:00p.m. – 9:00 p.m. with Dr. Smita Garg, a friend of Green Foothills and graduate of our Community Advocates Leadership Academy. Says Dr. Garg, “Meditation helps one get through times of immense upheaval and change. It helps alleviate anxiety, trauma, and insecurity. Meditation is like an island of calm in the middle of turbulent seas.” RSVP here

Our community is resilient and we will get through this together.

In service and on behalf of Green Foothills Board, Staff, and Advisory Board,

Megan Fluke

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