Forest After Fire – Q&A with Hannah Ormshaw

Butano Ridge

Hannah Ormshaw is the Natural Resource Manager for the San Mateo County Parks Department. Hannah has an academic and professional background as a geographer & ecologist. Her work for the Parks Department includes overseeing all habitat enhancement, invasive species control, fuel reduction and forest health projects, mapping, and wildlife monitoring.

What did you see when you visited Pescadero Creek County Park?

So far, the extent of the burned area has mostly been visible from Old Haul Road. CalFire had not yet cleared the area for access due to unsafe conditions. What I saw was that there were differences in the burn intensity in some areas. Where the burn intensity was lower, there is still some understory vegetation and leaf debris visible with some ash and charring of trees and logs. Where the intensity of the burn was higher, most woody debris and leaf litter was fully burned, and there was a prevalent layer of grayish-white ash on the forest floor. There is charring along the tree trunks.

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13 of 23 San Mateo County Parks Re-Open as CZU Lightning Complex Fire is Being Contained

After closing completely to attend to the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, San Mateo County Parks have returned to Phase II of the COVID-19 park management plan. Thirteen of the County’s 23 parks are now open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Most park rangers had been assigned to Pescadero Creek County Park to assist CalFire in containing the wildfire. Park rangers cut fire fuel breaks, created defensible space around critical infrastructure and made sure people stayed out of harm’s way.

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