Prescribed burn planned at Sonoma Land Trust’s Pole Mountain Preserve west of Cazadero, Wednesday, July 12, 2023 to improve ridgeline shaded fuel breaks and support forest health
CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit
Jason Clay & Tyree Zander, Public Information Officers
Sonoma Land Trust
Gina Fabiano, Director of Marketing and Media Relations
Jenner, CA – Sonoma Land Trust and CAL FIRE announced plans to conduct a prescribed burn at Pole Mountain Preserve near Jenner, California on Wednesday July 12. Totaling 16 acres, the burn will begin as early as 8:00am and will be managed by the CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit in partnership with Sonoma Land Trust. The burn is part of a larger community effort to fire resiliency throughout the region.
Ridgelines and fire-access roads are strategic locations for controlling the progression of wildfire and for the safe reintroduction of good fire as a forest health management tool. This is just one step in a multi-year effort to create a network of ridgetop shaded fuel breaks that provide multiple benefits to ecosystem health and community safety.
The prescribed burn will be among the first in the region to be conducted under the CalVTP Program, which expedites the implementation of vegetation treatments to reduce wildfire risk while conserving natural resources. This is also the first forestland prescribed burning at Sonoma Land Trust’s Pole Mountain Preserve.
The burn will be conducted by prescribed fire managers from CAL FIRE, with support from Sonoma Land Trust staff, Gold Ridge Fire Protection District, Monte Rio Fire District, and the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District.
Safety is the top priority when burning, and CAL FIRE will make the decision to burn once they have checked weather conditions and evaluated all safety protocols.
Smoke and Traffic Advisory
The prescribed burns will take place near the summit of Pole Mountain, the tallest peak along the Sonoma Coast, located between Jenner and Cazadero. The prescribed burn will commence at approximately 8:00am and conclude around 5:00pm and smoke from the burn may be widely visible. Units will continue to produce a lesser amount of smoke in the days following burning operations, and all burn sites will be monitored by fire personnel.
If you see smoke from this burn, please refrain from calling 911.
Restoring ecosystem health and wildfire resilience
Sonoma Land Trust is dedicated to restoring natural habitats and building climate resilience using nature-based solutions. These burns will improve the health of mixed hardwood and conifer forest by reducing tree density and surface fuels. Burning strategic ridgetop locations will serve as anchors for implementing the multi-stage land management plan that provides landscape-scale ecosystem health and resilience to wildfire and climate change.
This project is the result of many partnerships and planning that spanned over seven years. In 2016, CAL FIRE supported the initial multi-stage forest management planning process. Forest treatments were then implemented sequentially in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service EQIP program, California Coastal Conservancy’s Wildfire Resilience Program, The Nion Robert Thieriot Foundation, and numerous contractors including Great Tree Tenders, Biswell Forestry, and Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Fire Forward program. Extra assistance was provided by generous volunteers and Boy Scout Troop 14, along with oversight and guidance from CAL FIRE.
The forestlands bordering the summit of Pole Mountain are comprised of ancient bay laurel, madrone, oak, and maple trees that are increasingly crowded by planted conifers and resprouting hardwoods following the 1978 Creighton Ridge Fire. This site is within a larger strategic fuel break plan that extends from Duncan’s Mills to Pole Mountain and down to Hwy 1 on the coast and ties into a network of neighboring fuel break projects.
Information is available on roadway signage and via social media channels @SonomaLandTrust and @CALFIRELNU
The Sonoma Land Trust Living with Fire Strategy: https://sonomalandtrust.org/living-with-fire/
Sonoma Land Trust’s Pole Mountain preserve: https://sonomalandtrust.org/our-preserve-system/anchor-preserves/pole-mountain/
CAL FIRE www.readyforwildfire.org/
ABOUT CAL FIRE SONOMA-LAKE-NAPA UNIT
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) serves and safeguards the people and protects the property and resources of California. The CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, or LNU for short, is one of 21 CAL FIRE administrative units, and one of the largest. Spanning north of the San Francisco Bay Area from the Pacific Ocean to the Interstate-5 corridor, the counties of Colusa, Lake, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo come together to form a CAL FIRE Unit. LNU has primary responsibility for 2,063,280 acres of State Responsibility Area (SRA) – the most of any CAL FIRE Unit – and a vast range of vegetation types, populations, and political climates. We staff 21 fire stations, 31 state engines, six bulldozers, operate two conservation camps, have one fuel reduction crew, a firefighter hand crew, one helitack base, one air attack base, and many other support staff positions.