Saturday, 25 May 2024

Prescribed burning operation to begin Oct. 27 on Pepperwood Preserve

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA — Cal Fire Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, in partnership with the Pepperwood Preserve, will conduct a prescribed fire on the nature preserve starting Thursday, Oct. 27, or when conditions allow.

Prescribed burning activities will occur in open grasslands and forest understory. The project size is targeting treatment of up to 105 acres to promote healthy forests and reduce wildfire risk on a strategic fire control ridge separating Franz Valley and the Mark West area.

Project objectives also include mimicking natural ecological processes by returning fire to the landscape, promote native plant propagation and wildlife habitat and reduce fuel loading in the forest understory.

Smoke will be visible from multiple vantage points throughout Sonoma and Napa counties from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please do not report the fire to local first responders as they are already aware of the prescribed fire plan.

Prescribed burns are carefully planned and must meet strict criteria for ecological benefit, weather parameters, smoke management and fire safety guidelines. The planned operation is subject to last-minute changes due to those conditions.

When all conditions are met, trained wildland firefighters conduct the burn while monitoring the set criteria, fire behavior and designated fire control lines. The prescribed burn will comply with requirements of the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District.

Located in eastern Sonoma County, approximately 25 minutes from downtown Santa Rosa and a 90-minute drive north of San Francisco, Pepperwood manages a 3,200-acre nature preserve located in the heart of a globally-recognized biodiversity hotspot.

The preserve is an important refuge for over 750 varieties of native plants and 150 species of wildlife including birds, reptiles and mammals representing California's diverse climates.

Pepperwood offers a wide array of opportunities for public engagement via the Dwight Center for Conservation Science, a 9,400 square-foot green facility featuring classrooms, laboratories, offices and space for visiting scholars.

For information on wildfire safety, please visit us at https://www.readyforwildfire.org/.

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