Controlled burn set for Bouverie Preserve on May 30
If you are driving along Highway 12 in either direction on the morning of Tuesday, May 30, you will very likely see a large fire on the east side as you pass the Bouverie Preserve. Don’t panic and call 911 – this is a highly controlled prescription burn of 17.5 acres with lots of fire personnel standing by to take care of anything that might come up.
The fire is part of a new Fire Ecology Program at the preserve, which is part of Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR). The program seeks to reinstate ancient land remediation practices, using controlled fires to reduce fuel loads and reinvigorate both plants and habitats. Archeological evidence shows indigenous peoples initiating burns since time immemorial.
Many California plants and even animals are dependent on occasional fires to cleanse the system, eradicate parasites and encourage reforestation cycles.
The site spans grassland and oak savannah at the base of the Mayacamas mountains.
The burn is being done with the cooperation of CAL FIRE, local fire departments, and additional ecological controlled burn professionals. Specific burn objectives are to reduce thatch build-up of non-native grasses, reduce oak debris under oaks, reduce populations of invasive grass and forbs, increase native grass and forb vigor and presence, and restore overall ecosystem health.
ACR is taking a leadership role in the Bay Area, using fire to fight fire, after five years of drought which has engendered terrifyingly huge wildfires throughout California, fueled by millions of dead and dying trees and understory.
The program was covered in a March 15, 2017, Kenwood Press story.