First Prescribed Broadcast Burn of 2023 a Success!

On Tuesday June 26th, we successfully put fire to 44-acres of grassland. We can’t wait to appreciate our Assistant Preserve Manager and California-certified Burn Boss, Devyn Friedfel for another fantastic burn. This was Devyn’s first burn since getting his Burn Boss certification. Devyn led 57 prescribed fire practitioners, three CAL FIRE engine crews, and one Sonoma County engine crew through the organizational details of the burn Tuesday morning. The crew included folks from Regional and State Parks, Sonoma Land Trust, Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Fire Forward program, the Good Fire Alliance, Spy Engineering, Forest and Fire Recruitment Program, and Hanford.

Pepperwood’s Preserve Manager, Michael Gillogly, also deserves enormous gratitude for working tirelessly over the decades to ensure good fire is returned to the land here at Pepperwood, and his ground support on this particular burn was invaluable. We would also like to extend a huge thank you to Restoration Technician, Annie Madden for her skill and leadership and general good cheer, and to our Grizzly Corps Fellows, Sophia Pruden and Makayla Freed, who were right in the middle of it all putting “good fire” on the ground. Pepperwood is blessed to have such a fantastic team and incredible partners. Thank you to all the staff that stepped up to make this happen behind the scenes. And lastly we are incredibly fortunate to have the support of our President, Dr. Lisa Micheli, and our Board of Directors. Without their backing none of this would be possible.

The 44-acre prescribed burn was a science-based vegetation treatment to aid in the restoration and conservation of grassland and oak woodland habitats and to reduce wildfire fuels that can exacerbate wildfire hazards. This prescribed burn supported long-term goals listed below:

  • reduce invasive species in our grasslands over the next 10 years;
  • reduce fuel loads to minimize impacts from future wildfires (supporting the objectives of CAL FIRE’s statewide Vegetation Management Program);
  • foster strong working relationships between Pepperwood, our local Native American community, ACR´s Fire Forward collaborative, and local fire agencies;
  • maximize opportunities to educate and engage community members on the benefits of fire; and
  • restore healthy ecological fire regimes in the Mayacamas Mountains and environs.

Pepperwood’s team will continue to monitor and steward the site to track the impact of the prescribed burn and the long-term success of the above-listed goals.

All prescribed burning at Pepperwood, including partnerships with the Native Advisory Council at Pepperwood to restore cultural burning, are conducted in compliance with our CAL FIRE Vegetation Management Plan, and any applicable local, state, or federal safety and permitting requirements.

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