UCCE Assists in the Formation of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council
The Northern California Prescribed Fire Council provides continuing education opportunities for those using fire in forest management and conservation activities. Although prescribed fire councils are common in the U.S., this is the first such council in California. Council participants include public and private resource managers, researchers, firefighters, fire safe councils, tribes and regulatory agencies. The council hopes that by working together, this diverse group can increase individual members’ expertise in using fire for resource management and can improve fire-related education in the state. The council aims for a better public understanding of the value of prescribed burning in the state’s fire adapted landscapes, for increased safety in the use of prescribed fire, and for increased delivery of fire-related knowledge to land managers throughout the state.
Prescribed (Rx) fire is used in a variety of landscapes and contexts in northern California. The versatile nature of prescribed fire is evidenced by its diverse users, which include state and federal land management agencies, timber companies, tribes, non-governmental organizations (including fire safe councils), and private landowners, among others. Prescribed fire is complex in nature and successful implementation requires thorough planning. Major obstacles include:
- Narrow burn window (conditions, such as wind speed, relative humidity, and fuel moisture, do not fall within conditions outlined in the burn plan)
- Air quality regulations and environmental laws
- Lack of trained personnel
- Public opinion
- Lack of funding
- Liability/insurance limitations
The Northern California Prescribed Fire Council works collaboratively to improve techniques, increase training opportunities, and ameliorate permitting and other regulatory hurdles.
Join us at the fall meeting of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council in November in Humboldt.