California State Parks, in cooperation with CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, is planning 30 acres of prescribed burns in Fort Ross State Historic Park, on Thursday, October 19, or when conditions allow. No trail closures are anticipated, but the public is advised to use extreme caution while driving near prescribed fire operations due to fire personnel and equipment in the area.

The prescribed burns are planned and coordinated with the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District to minimize the smoke impacts on surrounding communities. All burning depends on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable for smoke dispersal. If the conditions, such as weather or vegetation, are not conducive for burning, the burns will be rescheduled.

People traveling near the burn areas may see smoke from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the day of the burn, with some minimal smoke produced for up to 2-3 days following ignitions. In the unlikely event the public smells smoke, they are urged to take precautions and use common sense to reduce any harmful health effects by limiting outdoor activities. Prescribed burns produce significantly less smoke than a wildfire does.

These burns are part of State Parks’ Prescribed Fire program for vegetation management, hazardous fuel load reduction, wildlife habitat improvement, and other ecological benefits. Treatments are aimed at managing coastal prairies and enhancing biodiversity as part of the department’s grassland and forest management program. Fire is being reintroduced at state parks as a component of these ecosystems on a rotational basis.

Photograph by Mike Fuller


California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.


Main image: Fort Ross State Historic Park (Source)

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