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AUBURN, CA – The Placer Resource Conservation District (Placer RCD), with funding and support from CAL FIRE, is developing the Placer Prescribed Burn Association (Placer PBA) to equip private landowners in the county with the skills, knowledge, and confidence necessary to become safe prescribed burn practitioners. A prescribed burn association is a group of landowners and others working together to utilize low-intensity fire as a fuels reduction and forest stewardship tool. Placer RCD is working to teach private landowners by providing educational workshops and resources, and hosting demonstration burns to build a knowledgeable public capable of burning in a safe, legal, and ecologically responsible manner.

Last year, with funding from CAL FIRE, Placer RCD initiated the Prescribed Burning on Private Lands (PBPL) Pilot Program to showcase the benefits of prescribed burning on a variety of properties and host several prescribed burn workshops. Due to the continued success of the program, CAL FIRE is funding a program expansion to develop the Placer PBA. Equipping private landowners with the ability to improve defensible space and fuels reduction creates safer, more fire resilient forests and communities and improves ingress and egress routes for first responders. In addition to assisting private landowners, the program has facilitated close partnerships between the RCD and the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, CAL FIRE, the United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC), and the Todd’s Valley Miwok Maidu Cultural Foundation.

Photo taken on December 2, 2021 near Iowa Hill, Placer County, CA by Andrew Fritz/Placer Resource Conservation District. This 11 acre prescribed burn at Kings Hill Ranch was coordinated by Placer Resource Conservation in collaboration with Prometheus Fire Consulting and Volcano Creek Logging. This prescribed burn was designed to improve forest and soil health and to mitigate against catastrophic wildfire. CAL FIRE funded this project.

When conducted in a manner that generates low-intensity, low-severity impacts, prescribed burning offers a myriad of benefits including fuels reduction, increased soil water infiltration, native plant stewardship, invasive species management, improvements in browsing habitat for wildlife, and soil carbon sequestration. Several landowners have expressed their gratitude for Placer RCD’s previous prescribed burning workshops. One landowner stated, “I did two small burns alone. I was nervous at first, but the workshop and excellent written materials prepared me to have a safe and [low-intensity] burn. I’m so excited to use prescribed burning as a tool on my land and teach others.”

To join or learn more about Placer PBA, please contact Cordi Craig (cordi@placerrcd.org), Conservation Project Coordinator.