Fire council provides fire training opportunities

In fall of 2009, the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council held its first meeting in a room at Humboldt State University. Since then, the Council – a collaborative group that includes federal and state fire management agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations, researchers, and others interested in prescribed fire – has hosted conferences and workshops all over the northern part of the state, and has worked on important policy issues with partners throughout California. The Council has also focused on providing innovative training opportunities for fire practitioners, including not only fire professionals, but also private landowners and others.

In 2016, the Council hosted its fourth annual Northern California Prescribed Fire Training Exchange, or “Nor Cal TREX.” The TREX is a two-week, hands-on prescribed fire training event that welcomes participants from diverse backgrounds and gives them an opportunity to gain skills and experience in prescribed fire. During the event, Nor Cal TREX participants travel throughout northwestern California, burning with different host agencies and organizations in a wide variety of landscapes and fuel types. In 2016, the Nor Cal TREX had a special focus on women in fire, and brought women and men from 11 states and 4 countries to burn together, work on leadership skills, and foster a support network for women with careers in fire management. This event, WTREX, was an unprecedented training event, and sent positive ripples throughout the fire management world. Plans are already underway for Nor Cal TREX 2017.

In addition to TREX, the Council is providing training events for private landowners, volunteer fire departments, and other local groups. In 2016, the Council worked with University of California Cooperative Extension, CAL FIRE, and other partners to host three workshops in Humboldt County, and more are planned for 2017, including live-fire trainings in Bridgeville and Shelter Cove. These events are intended to rekindle local landowners’ connections with fire, which was historically a very important tool for Native Americans, ranchers, and others in our region, and is an undeniably important part of our local landscape.

Council training events are supported by the Fire Learning Network, a partnership between the US Forest Service, Department of the Interior agencies, and The Nature Conservancy.

For more information on the Council’s events and trainings, visit www.norcalrxfirecouncil.org or email Lenya Quinn-Davidson, Council Director, at nwcapfc@gmail.com.

This is reprinted from “Living with Wildfire in Northwestern California” with permission from Humboldt County, CAL FIRE and Six Rivers National Forest. Copies of the complete guide are available at Dazey’s Building Center and Chautauqua Natural Foods, both of which are in Garbverville. It is also available online at https://humboldtgov.org/DocumentCenter/View/59108.

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