Sign Hill Fire One-Year Anniversary – Recovery Work Continues

South San Francisco, CA October 29, 2021 Press Release

As Fire Prevention Month comes to an end, City takes a look back at the Diamond Fire, which happened one year ago

This is a current photo provided by the City of SSF showing improvements made


This photo was taken the day after the fire by ESC Photographer Roger Cain.

It’s been more than a year since the Diamond Fire took hold of Sign Hill, and for many, the fire is still fresh in their minds. Firefighters from multiple jurisdictions responded and were able to contain the fire to just 15 acres, but it still had a significant impact on our community. {Read the original report on the Diamond Fire CLICK HERE}
“The Diamond Fire is a great reminder that no California community is immune from the effects of wildfire and that we all need to take responsibility for keeping our community as safe as possible,” said South San Francisco Fire Chief Jess Magallanes.
Since then, the City has taken steps to greatly reduce wildfire danger throughout Sign Hill while protecting its delicate ecosystem. As part of a comprehensive planning process, guided by CalFire guidelines, the work focuses on creating defensible space, reducing fire danger, and returning Sign Hill to its native state – which prior to well-intentioned human intervention, was largely grassland. To memorialize these efforts, staff will leave behind survivor trees in areas where they will not pose a threat of wildfire or impede habitat conservation efforts.
“This effort has resulted in the removal of approximately 1,500 trees killed by the fire, significant erosion control efforts such as hydro-seeding, temporary check dams in culverts, mulching, straw wattles, and replanting native grasses and pollinators,” said Parks Manager Joshua Richardson.
The City removed 1,500 trees in an effort to mitigate hazards near trails, reduce fuel load, and create defensible space between private parcels and city-owned land. Even with these efforts, Richardson says more work is needed as we continue to face the challenges associated with climate change. Tree removals will continue for the foreseeable future as defensible space is created and groves of trees are thinned in order to meet CalFire standards. Additional brush and weed abatement will also occur regularly to maintain these defensible spaces.
“Looking back on the Diamond Fire is a good reminder for us all to prepare before a disaster strikes,” adds Chief Magallanes. “Know how to best safely evacuate if needed, and be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.” Visit for tips on building a kit, making a plan, and preparing kids for disasters.

For the original story and to view many photos during the fire please CLICK HERE

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