August 9, 2019 – On the evening of Thursday, August 15th, the Nevada County Prescribed Burn Association will host a prescribed fire tour in Alta Sierra. The tour is an opportunity for landowners and interested members of the public to learn about the benefits and challenges of using prescribed fire on private lands in the northern Sierra Nevada.

Prescribed fire is an essential, but seldom-used tool for fuel reduction and ecological restoration in Nevada County’s forests. Prior to Euro-American settlement in the 1800s, most forests in the Sierra Nevada would have experienced fire approximately every 5-20 years, through lightning ignitions or through intentional burning by Native Americans. After nearly a century of fire suppression, many of our forests are overly dense and are susceptible to stand-replacing fire that can threaten communities and forest resources. Prescribed burning allows land managers to restore fire to controlled areas under safe conditions, which can significantly mitigate the effects of a future wildfire.

The Nevada County Prescribed Burn Association is an informal group of landowners, fire professionals, and non-profit partners working to support the use of safe, ecologically-sound prescribed fire in western Nevada County. Prescribed burn associations (PBAs) are collectives of property owners who work together to burn on private lands. PBAs are relatively new to California, but are fairly common in Midwestern states like Nebraska, where burning is commonly used to maintain healthy ranch lands. The Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association became the first modern PBA in the west in 2018. This group recently burned their 1,000th acre, and is working to support the formation of several other PBAs throughout California.

The 8/15 tour will begin at Trailblazers Craft Pizza and Brews off of Highway 49 in Alta Sierra, and will include two nearby prescribed burns: one from 2019 and another from 2013. The tour will be led by local burn boss Brenden Armstrong of Armstrong Fire Safety who helped implement both burns. The tour will involve light hiking, so participants are encouraged to wear closed-toed shoes and long pants. Participants are also encouraged to carpool and RSVP due to limited parking. The tour will be finished by 7:30 PM at the very latest, and will be followed by an informal meeting/dinner with the Nevada County PBA.

For more information, or to RSVP to the event, please contact Jamie Ervin of Sierra Forest Legacy at