Why Prescribed Fire?
Much of the Sierra Nevada is a fire dependent ecosystem which historically burned frequently at low intensity, but decades of fire suppression have not allowed fire to play its needed role in this ecosystem. From time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have used fire on the landscape to benefit the ecosystem. The suppression of all fire since colonization, from wildfire to cultural burning, has resulted in forests and woodlands with historically high density of trees, vegetation, and biomass. Prescribed fire is a critical tool for managing working rangelands and forests in the Sierra Nevada.
What is a Prescribed Burn Association?
As California experiences worsening wildfires, Prescribed Burn Associations (PBAs) offer residents an opportunity to take back control by using a tool that has long served the land. The regular application of low-intensity, low-severity fire makes massively devastating wildfires far less likely to occur. Other PBAs throughout the state have demonstrated over several years of burning that utilizing prescribed fire on private lands can be a cost-effective, safe, and accessible tool for landowners to reduce wildfire hazard and meet a variety of ecological objectives.
PBA members pool their resources and energy to conduct carefully planned burns under specified prescriptions to maintain productive forests and grasslands, enhance wildlife habitat, and ensure safer communities. A PBA can offer support and education to landowners and community members to expand capacity for utilizing intentional fire. The first PBA was formed in Humboldt County and now there are at least 20 in various stages of development throughout the state.
“Being a part of your local PBA is similar in concept to a barn-raising or a calf-branding: neighbors help neighbors implement burns by sharing labor, equipment, and skills” (Cal PBA website). Find more information on PBAs statewide here.
El Dorado Amador Prescribed Burn Association
The El Dorado Amador Prescribed Burn Association (EAPBA) was formed in late 2021 through the University of California Cooperative Extension to serve El Dorado and Amador counties. The goal of the EAPBA is to provide the community with training, equipment, and support to empower landowners to conduct intentional burns on their properties. Since formation the PBA has hosted several workshops, training events, and small burns. The PBA also recently received grant funds in summer 2022 from the Department of Conservation to hire a coordinator and continue to expand training efforts.
The mission of the EAPBA is to expand long-term community capacity for safe, legal, and ecologically sound prescribed fire implementation in the region, through collaboration with landowners, local experts, and existing organizations and agencies. We are currently working to expand our capacity for education and implementation and build up a cache of equipment for landowner burning and there are several ways community members can get involved.
Get Involved With the El Dorado Amador PBA
Mailing List Sign Up
Provide Property Info to Request Technical Assistance
Joining our mailing list is the best way to stay up to date on our events and other trainings. Signing the separate member agreement is a requirement for anyone interested in attending any EAPBA events. If you are interested in utilizing prescribed fire on your land and would like technical assistance please fill out the property information form to provide more information about the property and your objectives.
EQUIPMENT CACHE INFORMATION
The EAPBA has equipment available for burn preparation and implementation and we are currently working to expand this cache. In order to borrow any of this equipment you must be a PBA member who has signed our member agreement. If you would like to utilize any of this equipment or need other support in planning and utilizing prescribed fire on your property reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Available for PBA members to borrow:
- 10-hr fuel sticks
- Kestrel weather monitors
Available for landowner use by request or with PBA involvement:
- Variety of hand tools (shovels, rakes, mcleods, rogue hoes, scrapes)
- 5-gallon backpack pumps
- Portable pumps, tanks, and hose setups
BURNING WITH THE PBA
PBA-supported burns will be prioritized based on participation by the landowner in previous EAPBA activities and level of preparation of burn unit.
All EAPBA burns will require the following (help is available through the EAPBA):
- Basic Burn Plan
- Prepared Unit
- Necessary Permits
- Agency and Neighbor Outreach
Expected costs for a landowner hosting EAPBA volunteers on a prescribed fire:
- Beverages and food for all volunteers
- Air district permit fees (for Amador County)
- Suggested donation for volunteer fire department participation: $250 per day per engine
- Suggested donation to EAPBA: $20 per acre
- A burn boss chosen by the landowner: varying costs
- Fuel used during burn day: varying costs
Prescribed Burn Planning Resources
Winter Prescribed Burning Video Series (UCCE, SPARx , and Berkeley Forests)
Story Map Guide to Weather and Forescasting Resources (Created by Bryant Nagelson with Butte PBA)
Burn Plan Template
PERMITTING FOR RX BURNING
Link to purchase 10-hr fuel moisture sticks.
Link to highly accurate field spring scale (300g x 2g option).
Link to purchase Kestrel Drop weather monitor.
INVASIVE SPECIES MANAGEMENT
Yellow Starthistle Control (UCCE Master Gardener)
Broom Control (UC Integrated Pest Management)
Pokeweed Control (UC Integrated Pest Management)
GENERAL FOREST MANAGEMENT RESOURCES
UC ANR Recovering from Wildfire: A Guide for California's Forest Landowners (UC ANR Peer Reviewed Publication)
Reforestation Practices for Conifers in California (UC ANR Peer Reviewed Publication)