- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Firefighters set two hillsides ablaze at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) in April, sending flames 50 feet into the air while dense, chest-high chaparral was reduced to a moonscape – all in the name of science.
The prescribed burn was carefully orchestrated by CalFire. Wide swaths of vegetation had been cleared around the 7-acre and 9-acre study areas and the weather carefully monitored before a truck-mounted “terra torch” sent streams of flammable gel into the brush, igniting a raging fire.
The fires at Hopland set up a study for a UC Berkeley doctoral student researching post-fire nitrogen cycling, provided a training ground for new CalFire...