Bill Gabbert takes a look at the California beneficial fire plan at Wildfire Today here.
It seems like the FS has most of the work, 150K acres annually target for PB and “estimated” for FMRB. Now, we would not like, perhaps, the FS to have a target for FMRB (or would we?) because that might affect their decision-making (or would it?). So what does it mean (if anything) to lay that number out there.. an FMRB program as big as the PF program?
I wonder whether the pre-fire decision making for FMRB uses the same thinking for the Park Service, the State on private lands, and the Forest Service, and exactly what kind of pre-fire decision-making is required? A Fire use plan amendment? Maybe all of that is in the Strategic Plan.
This is important to highlight, I think, because there are folks who are concerned over the use of FMRB in particular, and if half your program is that, it seems like it’s particularly important to develop trust and social license; open decision-making seems like one piece of that.
Anyway, here are some excerpts from Bill’s post:
The plan released last week by the Governor’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force indicates that the state of California will begin managing some fires for resource benefit, major change in their policy. They will evaluate areas on state land where modified fire suppression strategies can be implemented, such as land trusts, ranches, and timber owners. Where appropriate and authorized by the state Legislature, CAL FIRE will use plans and agreements with land managers and landowners in order to allow unintentional ignitions to burn under predetermined and prescribed conditions, to accomplish resource benefits similar to prescribed fire.
The key elements of the plan include:
- Launching an online prescribed fire permitting system to streamline the review and approval of prescribed fire projects;
- Establishing the state’s new Prescribed Fire Claims Fund to reduce liability for private burners;
- Beginning a statewide program to enable tribes and cultural fire practitioners to revitalize cultural burning practices;
- A prescribed fire training center to grow, train, and diversify the state’s prescribed fire workforce;
- An interagency beneficial fire tracking system;
- Pilot projects to undertake larger landscape-scale burns; and
- A comprehensive review of the state’s smoke management programs to facilitate prescribed fire while protecting public health.
“This plan is vital to improve the health and resilience of the state’s forests, reduce wildfire risk of vulnerable communities, and increase stewardship by Native American fire practitioners,” said Task Force Co-Chair and U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien.
The plan, California’s Strategic Plan for Expanding the use of Beneficial Fire, March 2022, was developed by the Governor’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force. It can be downloaded here: (large 17 MB file).