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Public invited to attend prescribed fire training

California’s first-ever Forester Prescribed Fire Training Exchange event, aimed at bringing together professional forest rangers, forest managers and firefighters, will take place June 3-6 near Watsonville.

The four-day event is organized by the Central Coast Prescribed Burn Association, which empowers the public to build a culture of good fire and supports private landowners in conducting prescribed burns in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.

There will be one burn during the event, likely on June 4 or 5, which will be open to the public to observe.

Prescribed Fire Training Exchanges (TREXs) first came to Northern California in 2013 and have created a positive cultural shift regarding prescribed fire, both within the regional fire service and among the general public. These “good fire” TREX events have attracted significant attention, especially in the context of more severe wildfire seasons.

After months of cross-organizational planning, the four-day training will focus on exploring the connections between sustainable forest management, wildfire resilience, timber harvesting, prescribed burning, and will also include a burn in a commercially logged redwood forest.

The TREX will provide forest managers and planners with experiential training opportunities to increase statewide knowledge of how to conduct prescribed burning in marketable timber stands.

Other activities

In addition to prescribed burning, the program includes lectures, local tours and open discussions on how to integrate fire into timber management, fire and timber harvest planning, pre- and post-fire considerations, and fire and timber harvest permitting mechanisms. .

Presentations will be given by local forestry consultants, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, CALFIRE and local firefighters.

The fire site will take place near Mount Madonna, on private property where access is only allowed for guided observation. Please note that although the ForesterTREX planning team works closely with the Monterey Bay Air Resources District to ensure proper smoke dispersion, smoke may be seen and present in these areas during and after a burn. See the Central Coast Prescribed Burn Association web page at calpba.org/centralcoastpba for updates close to the burn date.

Participants and partners include the Mount Madonna Center, members of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, Resource Conservation District of Monterey County, CALFIRE, local land trusts, scientists, farmers, students, researchers, land managers and others. The Central Coast Prescribed Burn Association is currently funded through California Coastal Conservancy grants.

For more information or to join a group of observers, contact Barb Satink Wolfson, UC Cooperative Extension fire advisor at (email protected).

Source: University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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