Back to OAEC News >

The Benefits of Prescribed Fires

Blogpost published on: Sunday, October 19th, 2014

prescribed fire

In a time of climate change and drought, California’s forests are increasingly under the threat of catastrophic fires. While the state spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on fire suppression for massive wildfires like the Rim Fire, OAEC has been involved not in fighting fires, but rather in lighting them.

The benefits of prescribed burning (fire lit under known conditions of fuels, weather, and topography, to achieve specific objectives) abound. From removing encroaching conifers to cycling nutrients to opening up the understory and enhancing the diversity of native plant communities, prescribed fires at low intensities are a crucial component of managing California’s landscape.

Passionate about bringing fire back to the landscape in a good way, OAEC Wildlands Program Director Lindsay Dailey spent two weeks in October implementing prescribed burns through northern California with the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council – an amazing coalition of public, private and tribal entities working together in support of prescribed fire.

 

Here are some photos from the fire line:

prescribed fire - acorns

A prescribed fire in Redwood National Park burned too late to interrupt the life cycle of the weevils in these white oak acorns, which you can see based on the exit hole in the acorn where the weevil larvae chewed its way out.

 

lindsay dailey and firefighters

Anu Kramer (UC Berkeley), Erin Banwell (Bureau of Land Management) and Lindsay Dailey (OAEC Wildlands Program) have fun nerding out on documenting the fire effects of a prescribed fire in Weaverville Community Forest.