Crows roosting before a waxing gibbous moon. Photo by Nik Blaskovich.
October 31, 2022
By Jamison Watts, Executive Director
With the Conservancy’s burn on the San Francisquito Flats and CAL FIRE San Benito-Monterey Unit’s burn on more than 1,000 acres in Gabilan Range, October has been a busy month for prescribed fire in Monterey County. It’s exciting to see “good fire” spreading across the region, not only for the purpose of wildfire safety in our communities, but for the reinvigoration of ecosystems that have evolved to depend on periodic, low-intensity fires.
More than a century ago, regular wildfires and cultural burns supported the California landscape by recycling nutrients into the soil, clearing thatch and underbrush to allow space for new shoots to spring up, and supporting seed germination in redwoods, oaks, and other native plants. This pattern of healthy fire helped create a patchwork of habitat types where marvelous biodiversity flourished. In contrast, the past hundred years have been marked by fire suppression policies, causing a buildup of fuels that has increased the frequency and intensity of wildfires.
With Firewise Communities and prescribed burn associations (PBAs) springing up across the state, the ability of private landowners and communities like ours to bring the age-old practice of prescribed fire back to the land is slowly returning for the benefit of both the land and those dependent upon it.
Click the button below to learn more about our work in our October Newsletter.