City Crews Attack Vegetation with ‘Masticator Tractor’

City work crews armed with something called a “masticator tractor” have attacked a six-acre chunk of land alongside Las Positas Creek, chewing up the thick vegetative underbrush that could provide combustible fuel in a fire. The team will spend three days shredding the accumulation of the wild arundo — a thick weedy invasive plant once used to make saxophone reeds and now used as a source of biofuels — and leave the chewed up remains on the creek bank as a form of erosion control. The strategy is to create a firebreak 1,600 feet long and 30 feet wide.

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