June 4, 2021 @ 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve
Prescribed Burns at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve @ Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve

We are preparing to conduct another carefully controlled prescribed burn at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve on June 4, 2021 from 7:00am – 6:00pm. This event was previously scheduled for May 21 and was postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Unplanned wildfires can be devastating, but planned burns can effectively remove excess flammable vegetation, manage invasive plants, and revitalize native plant communities such as the Preserve’s wildflower meadows.

Since 2004, we have worked with the owners of the Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve to co-manage the wildflower meadows and grasslands, oak woodlands, and riparian habitats of the Preserve. This 162-acre property is protected forever against future development, to preserve its beauty and its rich and rare mix of native plants and animals.

Several non-native, invasive plant species grow in the Preserve. Some of them are not edible by cattle, so despite careful summer grazing, their populations continue to expand. Medusahead, for example, is an invasive grass that creates a thick layer of persistent, flammable thatch that smothers native grasses and wildflowers and has a prickly seed head that cattle avoid. A prescribed burn in 2020 at the Preserve made a good start at reducing Medusahead and other invasives. You may have also heard about controlled burns in 2018 at the Bouverie Preserve near Glen Ellen, and in 2016 and 2017 at Pepperwood Preserve, northeast of Santa Rosa, that successfully reduced Medusahead and reduced the burn intensity during the Nuns fire.

We are working with prescribed fire professionals, fire agencies, and air quality agencies to prepare for a safe and effective prescribed burn. Several factors could postpone or cancel the event.

It’s our intent to keep landowners near the Preserve informed. We’ll keep adding to this page as the event gets closer. If you have questions or thoughts you’d like to share, please contact Erica Warren at restoration@sonomaecologycenter.orgor (707) 200-8358.