University of California ANR wildfire experts

May 15, 2014

May 15, 2014

CONTACTS: Pam Kan-Rice, (510) 206-3476, and Jeannette Warnert, (559) 240-9850,  

University of California ANR wildfire experts

forest fire
University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources wildfire experts are available to answer questions related to the fires currently raging.

Carl Bell

UC Cooperative Extension regional advisor for invasive plants

Bell conducts wildfire recovery and invasive weeds research in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

(760) 815-2777


Mike De Lasaux

UC Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor for Plumas and Sierra counties.
Areas of expertise – wildfire fuel reduction on small forest parcels, forestry and watershed management.

(530) 283-6125


Sabrina Drill

UC Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor for Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Drill holds workshops to teach homeowners that the arrangement and proper maintenance of plants around homes in the wildland-urban interface can help reduce the risk of wildfire. Also, that choosing the right plants can protect the health of neighboring habitat by limiting the introduction of invasive plants.

(626) 586-1975


Keith Gilless

UC Berkeley professor of forest economics in the College of Natural Resources.

Area of expertise -- Wildland fire protection planning; forest economics and management; evaluation of prescribed burning.

Gilless has studied large urban-wildland fires, including the Oakland-Berkeley and Santa Barbara fires, to evaluate the probability of a house within the fire perimeter surviving as a function of the house's structural characteristics, its surrounding vegetation, and the defensive actions taken to protect it.

(510) 642-7171


Jan Gonzales

University of California Cooperative Extension project coordinator for the Wildfire Zone

The Wildfire Zone ( is a wildfire education and outreach program in San Diego County. Gonzales has been involved with wildfire prevention, safety and recovery education since 2005. She is an executive board member of the San Diego County Fire Safe Council and member of county and regional area safety task forces on wildfire and forest health issues.

(858) 822-7718


Susan Kocher

UC Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor for  Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne and El Dorado counties.

After the Angora Fire near Lake Tahoe, Kocher evaluated the effectiveness of defensible space. She helped the California Tahoe Conservancy forester set up a rapid parcel assessment to identify high priority treatment sites on their parcels. Kocher worked with the California Department of Forestry structure damage assessment team to see how their formal evaluation methodology functions and collaborated with Ed Smith of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension to film examples of defensible space for the “Living with Fire in the Tahoe Basin” Web site,

(530) 542-2571


Max Moritz

UC Cooperative Extension wildfire specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. He is located in Santa Barbara County.

Areas of expertise -- Wildland fire, fire modeling, fire effects, shrubland ecosystems and spatial patterns of fire disturbance. By looking closely at fire history and monitoring plant moisture levels in the Santa Monica Mountains, Moritz and his colleagues developed a way to predict when an area becomes vulnerable to large-scale fires.

(805) 893-2125


Glenn Nader

UC Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor for Sutter and Yuba counties.

Areas of expertise -- Landscaping for fire safety

(530) 822-7515

Kimberly Rodrigues

UC Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor 

Rodrigues' research focused on how to make public participation in resource management more meaningful and relevant to reduce conflicts. She participated in the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project, a 10-year project that has the potential to transform not only how we view forest fires, but how scientists, government agencies and public stakeholders interact in the pursuit of common goals.

(530) 750-1283


Tom Scott

UC Berkeley Cooperative Extension area natural resources wildlife specialist for Southern California. 
Areas of expertise -- conservation of wildlife, wildlife management at the urban-wildland interface, and response of wildlife to fire. After a catastrophic 1993 fire season, Scott was instrumental in developing subsequent meetings and a book on fire ecology, management and policy. Scott authored Brushfires in California: Ecology and resource management in 1995, with Jon Keeley. 

(951) 827-5115


John Shelly

UC Cooperative Extension forest products and biomass utilization advisor
Areas of expertise -- Forest products, wood manufacturing methods, biomass utilization, physical properties of wood.

(510) 665-3491


Scott Stephens

Associate professor of fire science and co-director Center for Fire Research and Outreach at UC Berkeley

Areas of expertise -– Wildland fire science, fire ecology, fire behavior, wildfire.

(510) 642-7304


Bill Stewart

UC Cooperative Extension forestry specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley and co-director Center for Fire Research and Outreach
Areas of expertise -– Economics of fire prevention and fire suppression programs, economic assessment of property damages and environmental damages from fires.

(510) 643-3130

By Pamela Kan-Rice
Author - Assistant Director, News and Information Outreach