Skip to main content

fire

Panorama of a prescribed fire at Boyes Prairie in Prairie Creek Redwood State Park. The three panels show immediately before, during, and after the fire.

Prescribed Fire and Coast Redwood Prairies

on

During a brief burn window in October, crews from California State Parks and the National Park Service diligently worked to restore the natural process of fire to various ecosystems in over 2,800 acres of Redwood National and State Parks.

...Continued

Soberanes Fire Burns in the Redwood Region

on

At the time of writing, the Soberanes Fire has burned over 60,000 acres in Monterey County and is about 45% contained. The fire area covers much of Garrapata State Park, a scenic and rugged redwoods park at the southern end of the coast redwood range. We don’t yet know whether, or to what extent, the park’s redwood groves are suffering damage; and while the primary concern is for the well-being of nearby human communities, it’s interesting to consider the implications of fires like this in the redwood forest.

...Continued
One year after a wildfire, burnt redwoods regrow foliage. Photo by Benjamin S. Ramage

Re-Sprouting After Fire

on

Last weekend, while I was hiking in the forests of Northern California with strong winds and thunder and lightning storms, I was reminded that we are entering fire season. While the thought of forest fires often stir fear in us … Continued

This redwood grove on a League-owned Napa County property will get protection from extra-intense wildfires.

Fierce Fires Pose Threats to Forests, Water

on

It’s fire season again. Last week, the local news reported on a 2,500-acre fire in Napa County, just east of the redwood range and Save the Redwoods League’s property near Bothe-Napa State Park. As I’ve mentioned before in previous blogs, … Continued

Left, Cape Vizcaino in 1947, with meadows clearly visible. Right, the present view, with trees encroaching heavily.

Burning Cape Vizcaino

on

The view from the picnic table was grand to be sure, the blue infinities of sea and sky meeting where the distant fog gathered offshore (and coastal fog, when you think about it, really is the perfect blend of the … Continued

Deliberate burning as a restoration tool. Images by Leonel Arguello, National Park Service

Burning as a Restoration Tool

on

Last week, the sky around the Bald Hills area of Redwood National Park was hazy beyond the normal shroud of fog.  Smoke filled the air.  The forest was burning.  Water trucks stood at the ready, fire crews and park staff … Continued

Fire-suppressed sequoia grove – note the large fire scar on the giant sequoia on the right.

Setting Fire to the Forest

on

We’ll do all the law’s allowin’/Tomorrow I’ll be right back plowin’/ settin’ the woods on fire —Hank Williams In a recent post, I discussed the role of natural disturbance in creating the forests we see today. This week, I’d like … Continued

Burned tree in Redwood National Park.

Where do forests come from?

on

Whenever I’m out in the forest, I can’t help but think about how it all got started.  Even though the redwoods may seem timeless and unchanging, they almost always began in turmoil.  These periods of rapid change are known as … Continued

The ancient tree known as “Treebeard” has often been used as a traveler camp, and though burned from the inside many times, it has survived with some portions left dead from the fires. Photo by Mark Andre, Environmental Services

Old-Growth Redwood Burns in Arcata

on

“Transient Camp Causes Fire in Old-Growth Redwood Tree,” reads the headline posted by the City of Arcata at www.arcataeye.com. The fire did not damage just any old redwood.  It burned (and is apparently still burning) in ‘Treebeard,’ a redwood estimated … Continued

A researcher climbs a giant sequoia at Mountain Home Grove next to a burned giant sequoia that remains alive with two vigorous sprouts near its broken top. Photo credit: Bob Van Pelt

Burned out but not fading away

on

It’s fairly difficult for me to imagine living for 3,000 years. Yet giant sequoias live for millennia, standing tall in a single location as the years, decades, and centuries tick by. They are pounded by rain, snow, sweltering heat, lightening, … Continued

Giant Sequoia

25 Years of Controversy amid the Monarchs

on

I just got back from a trip to see the cinnamon-colored giants of Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest in the southern Sierra. It was a real treat to explore a giant sequoia grove for the first time, especially when accompanied … Continued

One year after a wildfire, burnt redwoods regrow foliage. Photo by Benjamin S. Ramage

Redwoods Regrow After Fires

on

In the past 70 to 80 years, most fires in California’s coast redwood forests were prevented or suppressed. But in 2008, more than 2,000 fires ignited forests in Northern and Central California during a single summertime lightning storm. Overwhelmed by conflagrations in drier areas, firefighters allowed many of fires in coast redwood forests to burn. Learn more about this research.

...Continued
Fire is an example of a disturbance event that redwoods face.

Coast Redwoods’ Response to Disturbance Events

on

In 2006, Save the Redwoods League recruited eight scientists to survey scientific literature about how coast redwood forests respond to “disturbance events” such as fires, windstorms and floods. The scientists considered how redwoods fit into two broad categories of trees: those that need major disturbances to perpetuate themselves and those that don’t. The seedlings of disturbance-dependent trees germinate in open spaces, grow quickly to outcompete other vegetation and tend to form even-age stands. Species that don’t need disturbances tend to be shade tolerant, slower growing and longer lived.  They usually grow in uneven-age stands. Learn more about this research.

...Continued
Fire is an example of a disturbance event that redwoods face.

Fires Were Common in Rainy Northern Forests

on

For years, Steve Norman had been told that the humid forests of coastal Northern California must be too wet to burn. Scientists who research fire acknowledge its power as a tool for reshaping the landscape, but some areas were considered nearly immune to fire. This assumption meant that the damp forests of Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park remained a blank file in the coastal forest fire records. Learn more about this research.

...Continued
Join our newsletter
Get the latest redwood updates in your inbox
   Please leave this field empty
Top