Prescribed Burns at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve
Picture from the 2020 prescribed fire
We are preparing to conduct another carefully controlled prescribed burn at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve on May 21, 2021 from 7:00 am – 6:00 pm.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 200-8358.
This event is only possible with the help of many partners.
Good Fire Alliance
Learn more about our 2020 prescribed burn on the property.
Controlled or “prescribed” burns were used by indigenous people for centuries before Europeans arrived here. It is an effective ancient art and science that promotes both fire resiliency and biodiversity. Last year’s prescribed burn of about 30 acres at Van Hoosear...
On Friday, May 22, Sonoma Ecology Center and its partners conducted a 35-acre prescribed burn at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve west of Sonoma. The burn was a success—and a glimpse at our possible future here in Sonoma Valley. As Restoration Program Manager Jason...
Use of controlled or “prescribed” burns is both an ancient art and a new science. Here in the North Bay, the practice was used for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. Today, it is an essential tool in promoting both fire resiliency and biodiversity. That’s why...
UPDATE: The prescribed burn at Van Hoosear is now tentatively scheduled for Friday, May 22, dependent on weather conditions. Sonoma Ecology Center, CalFire and other partners s are planning a prescribed burn at the privately owned Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve west...