Healing with fire: using prescribed fire to restore cultural and ecological values in California

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The goal of this workshop is to discuss the integral use of fire in the past in California and, in the wake of mega-fires across the American West, how prescribed burns can help reduce risk of catastrophic fires and help plant and human communities heal. It is vital that we as communities remember our natural relationship with fire and what role prescribed burns have in keeping landscapes & communities healthy. This panel discussion will share perspectives and opportunities from members of Indian Tribes, University of California, and other partners who have been practicing and building capacity for prescribed burning in Northern California.

In California and across the Pacific West, it is a matter of when, not if, the land will burn. When the land is tended well, the people are kept safe. Those who are reintroducing fire into the landscape in Northern California are helping communities reduce risk of catastrophic fire, and restoring important ecological and cultural processes to the landscape. Small scale fires have a traditional place in California to help restore and maintain perennial grasses & oak savanna by reducing competition and reducing total fuel load on the forest floor. Despite the historical need for the land to burn, fire remains stigmatized & shrouded in fear for many residents. This workshop aims to reintegrate the use of fire to help communities stay safe & practice Earth Care in a hands-on way, by offering tools & perspective that are being used as part of a holistic approach to relating with land. Presenters at the panel discussion are building bridges between Tribes, agencies, and private landowners, and will exchange ideas & best practices. Attendees will hear of historical uses of fire, how fire is being used today, and what training opportunities are available to help them build skills and capacity.

Presented By: David Grefrath