The Yolo Prescribed Burn Association (PBA) had its first meeting on February 23rd from 3 to 6 PM at the Esparto Community Hall. Originally planned to take place on a private ranch where the PBA’s first demonstration burn is planned, the event had to be moved due to weather. Nevertheless, the event went off without a hitch with around 45-50 people in attendance including local and state fire officials, Yolo County ranchers, and potential volunteers.
The meeting was facilitated by Heather Nichols, Yolo County RCD Executive Director. To kick off the meeting, Phil Hammerness, a Yolo County Rancher, provided some insight on his involvement with the PBA. Phil’s property will be burned during the PBA’s first demonstration burn in Spring of 2023 to manage for star thistle and goat grass and to improve the rangeland. Next on the agenda, the group heard from Phil Dye, a California Burn Boss about the benefits of using prescribed fire as a land management tool. After, presentations from local organizations voiced support for the Prescribed Burn Association including insights from Chief Robert Wettstein (CAL FIRE LNU), Jeff Pinnow (Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District), Fire Marshall Damen Snow (Yocha Dehe Fire Department), and Chief Jesse Capatanio (Capay Valley Fire Protection District).
To round out the meeting, Heather Nichols provided an update on membership, bylaws, and liability with more updates to come in that vein. Finally, a Questions and Answers session allowed folks to ask questions about prescribed burning. A majority of questions surrounded the topic of permitting and smoke management plans.
To view resources available at the Kickoff Meeting including information on liability and Frequently Asked Questions, visit the RCD’s website. The next PBA meeting will take place on March 16th at 4 to 6 PM. To stay up to date with the PBA, join the e-mail list, here.