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Public invited to observe prescribed fire training June 4-9

Prescribed burns will be open for the public to observe along California's Central Coast, most likely June 4-9, depending on the weather. This image depicts a TREX burn from 2022. Photo by J. Childress

The Monterey Bay area will host part of the first California Central Coast Prescribed Fire Training Exchange, or Cal-TREX.

Fire practitioners from across the state, greater North America and international locations (Spain, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador) are gathering for a Prescribed Fire Training Exchange on June 3-10.

The training is hosted by the Central Coast Prescribed Burn Association, which empowers the public to build a culture of “good fire” and helps private landowners conduct prescribed burns in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.

Prescribed burns will be open for the public to observe on various days throughout the training, most likely June 4-9, depending on the weather. Please see the CCPBA webpage for updates on upcoming burns: http://calpba.org/centralcoastpba.

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

After months of cross-organizational cooperative planning, participants in the weeklong training will be burning a mix of grassland, oak woodland and shrub vegetation types, and make a lasting, positive change concerning “good fire” on the Central Coast.

The TREX will provide experiential training opportunities to advance regional prescribed fire capacity, while also enhancing research to better understand the ecological response of wild plant and animal species following fire.

While the CCTREX works closely with the Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD) to assure good smoke dispersal, smoke may be seen and present in these areas during and after a burn. This image depicts at TREX burn in 2022. Photo by J. Childress

At this TREX event, participants will learn how to safely conduct prescribed burns in various vegetation types across three counties. Along with multiple prescribed burns, the weeklong program will include lectures and seminars on local fire ecology of plant and animal species, tribal burning practices and burn planning led by multiple burn bosses and other experts.

Burn locations may include the Nyland property (owned by Trust for Public Land and San Benito Agricultural Land Trust) near San Juan Bautista, the Santa Lucia Conservancy near Carmel Valley and the Kechun Village (owned by the Nason family) in Arroyo Seco.

Be advised, while the CCTREX works closely with the Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD) to assure good smoke dispersal, smoke may be seen and present in these areas during and after a burn. Please see the CCPBA webpage for updates on upcoming burns: http://calpba.org/centralcoastpba.

BurnBot, a new technology featuring a mobile burn chamber, remote-controlled mastication and fire drone systems, will be used for the prescribed burn on June 4. To observe the Nyland burn on June 4, register at https://bit.ly/CCPBApublicRxfire. Details including time and directions will be emailed to registered participants.

Participants and partners include 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, CAL FIRE, local land trusts, scientists, ranchers, students, researchers, land managers and others. The CCPBA is funded by two CAL FIRE wildfire prevention grants.

For more information, contact Jamie Tuitele-Lewis, fire fuel mitigation program and forest health coordinator, at jtlewis@rcdmonterey.org or Barb Satink Wolfson, UC Cooperative Extension area fire advisor, at bsatinkwolfson@ucanr.edu.

Posted on Friday, May 26, 2023 at 10:38 AM
  • Author: Jamie Tuitele-Lewis, Resource Conservation District of Monterey County
  • Author: Barb Satink Wolfson, UC ANR
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Natural Resources

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