California RCDs Are Making Substantial Progress on Prescribed Burns

Getting beneficial fire to scale is a critical aspect of California’s Wildfire & Forest Resilience Action Plan. In counties throughout California, Regional Conservation Districts are making a significant impact, getting good fire on the ground, and showing the way on best practices for safe, effective prescribed burns. 

Here are a few recent highlights, as favorable fall and winter conditions have enabled California’s Resource Conservation Districts to make significant progress on prescribed burns.

In Yolo County

  • The Yolo Prescribed Burn Association hosted its first prescribed burn at a private ranch north of Capay on June 17th. It’s a great, full case study on effective beneficial fire.
  • Yolo County RCD also recently completed their first Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). On-the-ground CWPP fuels reduction work has already begun to supplement an annual CAL FIRE prescribed burn.
  • Beyond burns, Yolo County Fire Safe Council launched two programs: the Neighborhood Chipper Program and the Reflective Address Sign Program, supplying residents of high fire areas with 111 signs across 81 properties and chipping debris from the creation of approximately 5,589 cubic yards of defensible space.

In Trinity County

  • Pile burning activities by Trinity County Resource Conservation District (TCRCD) fuels reduction technicians are contributing to a broader initiative to establish a shaded fuel break along the ridgetop of Browns Mountain to safeguard Weaverville and Lewiston.
  • With numerous projects underway, TCRCD remains committed to leveraging controlled burns to enhance landscape health, reduce wildfire risks, and foster long-term ecological resilience. At least 35% of investments benefit residents of disadvantaged communities.

In Butte County

  • Butte RCD has built a very active Prescribed Burn Association with over 350 members who are out burning almost weekly. With the addition of a fully outfitted burn trailer, RCD truck, and 125-gallon slip-in fire skid, they plan to step up acreage this spring.
  • Local media has taken notice, with coverage by North State Public Radio about neighbors helping neighbors and PBA work near a major evacuation route.

In Placer County

    • Placer RCD has a state-certified burn boss on staff and a robust program. Their website is full of good content, including videos, pictures, updates, and information about upcoming workshops.
    • They also put out a quarterly newsletter titled Forest Steward with lots of high quality beneficial-fire related content and stories.