Information provided by Cal Fire.
The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) San Mateo—Santa Cruz Unit, in cooperation with Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), Sempervirens Fund, and Save the Redwoods League will conduct a 22-acre prescribed burn on the San Vicente Redwoods property in the upper Bonny Doon area of Santa Cruz County on Feb. 27.
According to a recent release, the prescribed burn will be conducted between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., but smoke may be noticed in the area for about one to two days following the burn. The project is being conducted in accordance with a Smoke Management Permit issued by the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District in order to minimize the smoke impacts on surrounding communities.
This burn is being conducted as part of the CAL FIRE Vegetation Management Program and is intended to reduce fuel accumulations in a portion of the shaded fuel break completed by the Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council six years ago and to provide ecological benefits such as nutrient cycling and recruitment of fire-dependent plant species. A similar burn was successfully completed during the fall of 2016 in the same general location.
Prescribed vegetation management burns are carefully planned controlled burns that must meet a predefined set of conditions (prescription) in order to achieve ideal fire behavior. No burning takes place if weather and fuel conditions are not within the prescription. When optimal conditions are met, trained wildland firefighters manage the burn while monitoring the weather, smoke dispersal, fire behavior and designated fire control lines.
The effects of the prescribed burning at San Vicente Redwoods will be a subject of ongoing research, with funding support from POST, Sempervirens Fund, and Save the Redwoods League. The three groups are currently funding research by the Amah Mutsun Land Trust to evaluate prescribed burning as a tool for vegetation management, enhancement of ethnobotanical resources, and fire safety.