Prescribed Fire

What is Prescribed Fire? 

Prescribed fire is the knowledgeable and skillful application of a planned that is ignition specific environmental conditions (e.g. fuel moisture, temperature, smoke dispersion, topography etc.) to achieve biophysical resource (e.g. enhancing wildlife habitat, meadow enhancement, reduction of surface fuels) or cultural resource (see additional section below) objectives.

YouTube Video

                                    Good Fire: Prescribed burning.  Produced by the US forest Service

What is Cultural Fire? 

Cultural fire is a form of prescribed fire. Cultural fire is the intentional application of fire and smoke to create and sustain ecosystems and plant communities, including especially the culturally defined resources (food and materials as well as aesthetic and spiritual resources) within those systems and communities.  Like prescribed fires with biophysical resource objectives, cultural burning may include such goals as enhancing wildlife habitat or water resources, but cultural fires may also address aesthetic goals (such as creating a “park-like” landscape) and fulfill spiritual obligations. Distinguishing features of cultural fire regimes include specific patterns of fire seasonality, frequency, intensity, severity, site selection, ignitions, controls, and smoke application.

This video was produced by KCETlink and The Autry Continued California Exhibition, featuring our advisory committee member Ron Goode of the North Fork Mono Tribe. 

Tending the Wild: Cultural Burning

Fighting Fire With Fire: Cultural Burning Practices.  UCTV

YouTube Video

Projects in the Southern Sierra

Boulder Creek Fuels Restoration Project - The project is a 14,000 acre planning area in the Boulder Creek drainage of the Monarch Wilderness and the Agnew Roadless Area. The project will re-introduce fire in and area that is adjacent to the 2010 Sheep Fire.  

Three Leaf Sumac Burn - North Mono Tribe funded by the National Science Foundation. Fire was used to remove dodder and lichen infestations. 

Have you been involved in a prescribed fire project in the Southern Sierra region that you'd like to share here? Contact us.

What is a Natural Ignition? 

Natural ignitions are those caused by natural events, such as lightning, and not by any anthropogenic actions. Under Title 17 definitions, a natural ignition managed for resource benefits is considered to be a prescribed fire, and as such, would subject the burn to the requirements of Title 17. These requirements may include the submittal of a Smoke Management Plan to the local Air District or ARB.


      7-31-09 View looking northeast - Granite Knob lightening caused fire, Monache Meadows upper center