Given the rural environment, hilly topography, and dense wildland vegetation, fire safety is a constant concern in Reche Canyon. Currently there is limited access in and out of the canyon for fire safety and emergency vehicles, for first responders, and for residents. Understanding this, the Rancho del Prado project includes features that would make the canyon a significantly safer and more resilient environment by addressing the availability of wildfire-fighting aids and improving emergency access to better protect residents of the area.
Building the infrastructure for a safe community
The project would establish a Reche Canyon aerial firefighting base station that would include a new water reservoir, a helipad for emergencies and medical evacuations, and dip tank station for firefighting helicopters. This reservoir would be located within the project site adjacent to the South Hills Preserve and would benefit all of Reche Canyon.
The project would also expand and improve the City’s existing domestic water and fire protection system to provide a looped water system connecting all three communities. (Currently, the City’s water service lines terminate at the end of Prado Lane and Crystal Ridge Lane.) Combined with an improved pump system, this looped connection would significantly improve water pressure to meet current fire-flow standards.
Additional evacuation routes
Although there are some exceptions, development projects within a High Fire Hazard Severity Zone require two points of access. Unfortunately, currently both Crystal Ridge and Prado Lanes dead end, leaving only one point of access. The project will finally provide a looped connector road between them, resulting in two points of access for all three communities.
And as described in the Roads & Traffic section, the project is working to identify and create additional exit routes out of the canyon.
The project would also act as a buffer to future fire hazards and establish fuel modification zones—areas where combustible vegetation has been replaced with more drought-tolerant, fire resistant plants—to provide long-term fire protection. To further protect the three communities, residential fire sprinklers would be installed in all homes constructed within the project.