Prescribed Burns at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve

Video of 2021 prescribed burn by Steven Lee

Pictures from the 2021 prescribed fire by Kristen Russell

The June 4, 2021, prescribed burn at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve was deemed a success!

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.

The Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve prescribed burn was organized and prepared by Sonoma Ecology Center with support from ACR’s Fire Forward team and conducted by volunteer community members of the Good Fire Alliance with leadership from Phil Dye of Prometheus Fire ConsultingThank you to the Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Department, Sonoma Valley Fire District, Santa Clara County Parks Department, and Cazadero Fire Department for sending people and engines in support of this effort.

We held a prescribed burn on June 4, 2021, that covered some 11 acres. We expect this area to display wildflower recovery much as the area did that was burned in 2020.

 

The Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve prescribed burn is organized and prepared by Sonoma Ecology Center with support from ACR’s Fire Forward team and conducted by volunteer community members of the Good Fire Alliance with leadership from Phil Dye of Prometheus Fire Consulting. Thank you to the Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Department, Sonoma Valley Fire District, Santa Clara County Parks Department, and Cazadero Fire Department for sending people and engines in support of this effort.

Good Fire Alliance

Learn more about our 2020 prescribed burn on the property.

Wildflowers bloom in 2021 in the acreage that was burned in 2020.

The prescribed burn in 2020 allowed for wildflower recovery.