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UCCE offers prescribed-fire workshop for land managers

prescribed burn
To reduce the dry grasses and shrubs that can fuel intense wildfires, California landowners and land managers are invited to attend a prescribed-fire workshop organized by University of California Cooperative Extension in October. The workshop will be offered in two locations – Placer County and Calaveras County.

On Oct. 2, the prescribed-fire workshop will be held at Colfax Veterans Memorial Hall, 22 Sunset Circle, Colfax. 

On Oct. 4, the workshop will be held at Ebbett's Pass Fire District, 1037 Blagen Road, Arnold. 

The one-day workshop is designed for landowners and land managers who want to learn skills in prescribed-fire planning and implementation. In addition to reducing wildfire fuels, prescribed fire is used to control invasive plant species and for ecological restoration.

Each workshop will feature similar content including presentations on prescribed fire, including local fire history and current fire research, prescribed fire permitting and legal considerations, fire weather forecasting and online tools, air quality and smoke management, fire terms and fire behavior, burn plan development, burn unit preparation and fire tools and equipment. Instructors will also discuss models for accomplishing prescribed fire on private lands, including prescribed burn associations and CAL FIRE's Vegetation Management Program.

During the last week of October, participants in each workshop will be invited by UC Cooperative Extension to a field trip to look at lands actively managed with prescribed fire and to participate in a live training burn (weather permitting) at UC Berkeley's Blodgett Research Forest in Georgetown in El Dorado County.

Each workshop costs $25 for lunch and educational materials and registration by Sept. 27 is required to participate. To register, please visit http://ucanr.edu/2018rxfireworkshops.

For more information, contact Susie Kocher, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, at (530) 542-2571 or sdkocher@ucanr.edu.

 

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 4:37 PM
Tags: prescribed fire (1), Susie Kocher (16), wildfire (110)
Focus Area Tags: Natural Resources

Photographer Allan Jones Exudes Patience, Skill and Talent

Photographer Allan Jones of Davis focuses his camera on insects in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photographer Allan Jones of Davis exudes patience, skill and talent from the moment he enters the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee...

The Heat and Other Sad Gardening Tales

It's 99 degrees outside and I am pooped!  The only chores on my list for today were moving and spraying the suckering growth around the base of my “olive tree” – a joke on a neighbor's wrong id of the African Sumac tree in my front yard.  Ever since she asked me about the “olive tree” in the yard, that's how I've thought of that tree (Rhus lancea).  A wonderful tree for bees in the WINTER when it blooms with the small yellow puffs, otherwise, for me, it's a pain!  The survivor of 3 originally planted as a buffer between my house and the neighbors, it has stood up while one of its triplet trees started to lean due to the neighbor's unwieldy hacks and attempts to prune it.  I actually began to measure the distance it leaned toward the fence until it was removed.  Thanks to having no limbs left on the neighbor's side AND that it was growing on the edge of a drainage berm that he cut out on 1 side to put in a build-a-wall barrier, it was truly doomed!  But back to its not so good traits: these trees sucker and I mean sucker!  If left alone, there would be a thicket where it is planted; then there are the leaves – millions of them that yellow and fall leaving that side of the driveway in a permanent state of fall is here.  The neighbor's wife complained when I politely advised I was NOT going over there to sweep them up because they (the leaves) were covering up the weeds between the houses. 

Anyway, I've been cutting and snipping away filling a green waste tote with leaves and cuttings AND since I discovered the temperature was 99, I quit.  The heat is too much even though I'm in the shade and Bruce has just announced that a trip to the box store to purchase decking is nigh.

We are in the process of replacing the decking on the higher of our 2 decks.  After 25 years, the decking is just too rough and gone to merely take up the boards, flip them over, and put them back (haha, a great idea that never works.  So much of the last few weeks were spent in discussing options – synthetic or real wood; taking the deck out entirely and replace with new concrete steps and a stone patio abutting the patio already there or WHAT?!

Naturally, the time used for discussion used up what spring we had and so the demolishing started in 90+ plus degree weather.  Little by little the decking disappearing much to the dog's horror and dismay: we now have a 4 board wide (not fastened down) runway to get from the house to the patio and my beloved container plants.  Moving plants isn't bad until you start counting them and realize that although 20 trips between the patio and the “back 40” have occurred, and figure there are another 20 trips to go.  And don't ask me about having to divide the “sun” plants from the “shade” plants; some never made it out of the garden carts (I can water them just fine in there, thank you)!

A change of conversation here: did anyone else see the “cute” fuzzy caterpillar on the internet a few weeks ago?  Called the Pussy Caterpillar because of its size and heavy “fur coat”, it's just the kind of insect that attracts the kiddies.  Thank goodness it doesn't live around here because that adorable and cuddly looking thing has stingers in that fur coat which can really give a nasty rash and really hurts.  The thing is the caterpillar of the Southern Flannel Moth (Megalopyge opercularis) and is as nasty an insect as they come.  So glad it's back East or at least on the other side of the Rockies!

Come and visit with us on Saturdays from 9-2 at the Vallejo Farmers' Market on the corner of Marin and Georgia Streets.  We love to talk plants and other related subjects with you!  Hope to see you there!

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 3:19 PM

Californians must adapt their lives to fire

California is a place forged by fire, and its fierce fire-fighting policies are creating fuel-filled landscapes that will burn hotter and faster than ever, reported Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury News.

"Unless we change course, we'll never work our way out of this dilemma," said UC fire scientist Scott Stephens. "Unless we can get ahead of it, it'll never get better."

 

The River Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire, burned more than half of the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center in July 2018.

Strategies to live with fire were modeled at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center when the Mendocino Complex Fire spread on its rolling oak woodland and chaparral landscape in late July. About 3,000 of the center's 5,300 acres burned.

In pastures where sheep had grazed, the oaks still have green leaves. In other areas not grazed since the 1950s, undergrowth provided a ladder for flames to reach oak canopies.

In areas were vegetation was reduced by grazing, "the fire was less intense. It skipped around more. It wasn't as complete a burn," said Hopland director John Bailey. "Having animals on the land reduced the hazard."

(Read more about the fire at Hopland in a blog post by community educator Hannah Bird.)

Prescribed burning is another strategy to maintain a forest that is resilient to fire.

“Prescribed burns are a really powerful and underused tool,” said UC Davis ecologist Malcolm North. When a wildfire hits pre-burned areas, “it just putzes along.”

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 1:50 PM
Tags: John Bailey (1), Malcolm North (2), Scott Stephens (13), wildfire (110)
Focus Area Tags: Environment

'Bee There' Saturday at the UC Davis Bee Garden

This catch-and-release activity is especially popular among children in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. They catch, examine and release bees, including honey bees, bumble bees and carpenter bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Want to learn more about bees, and what to plant to attract them to your garden? The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee garden...

Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 5:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Family Yard & Garden

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