File photo: prescribe burning of invasive beach grass near Humboldt Bay

From the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council:

The Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association will be conducting prescribed burns in the Bear River area on September 25 and 26. The burns will be held on two private ranches and will focus on restoring coastal rangelands that have been invaded by coyote brush, blackberry, poison oak, and Douglas fir. A qualified burn boss will lead the burns, local fire departments will provide engines, and landowners and other community members will assist. Weather is favorable for burning, but smoke may be visible from Ferndale, Petrolia, and other nearby areas.

The Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association is a cooperative group made up of landowners, volunteer fire departments, non-governmental organizations, and other community members who work together to use fire as a tool. There are many prescribed burn associations in other parts of the country, but the Humboldt County PBA is the first of its kind in the West!

Projects in the last year have targeted non-native invasive grasses, coyote brush in coastal rangelands, Douglas-fir encroachment in oak woodlands, grasshopper herbivory in a vineyard, and Himalayan blackberry, and more burns are planned for this fall and winter. Prescribed fire is becoming an increasingly important tool for reducing fuels and maintaining healthy ecosystems, and Humboldt County should be proud to be leading the state with this community-based effort. 

The group is open to anyone who is interested in gaining skills in prescribed fire, and any landowners who would like to use prescribed fire on their properties. For more information on this week’s burns, or to get involved in the Humboldt County PBA, please contact Lenya Quinn-Davidson, Area Fire Advisor for University of California Cooperative Extension, at 707-445-7351 or