Wildfire Risk Reduction for Outdoor Camps

Workshop Objectives:

  • Provide outdoor camp managers with information on reducing wildfire risks
  • Show participants techniques for wildfire mitigation work done by camps in Tuolumne County

Content:

The workshop will include talks by fire scientists, fire professionals, camp managers, and land managers as well as a field trip through the Rim Fire to tour Camp Tawonga and Berkeley Tuolumne Camp. Topics will include vegetation management, structure risk reduction, communications during a crisis, and Rim fire behavior.

Workshop Agenda - Camp Lessons Learned from Rim Fire

  • Managing Fire in the Sierra Nevada - Brandon Collins, USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station, UC Berkeley
    • Overview of Fire’s Role in the Sierras.
    • Local fire effects in the Berkeley-Tuolomne/Camp Towanga area (i.e. near camp fire issues).
    • Vegetation management as a way to reduce fire hazards.
    • What were the risks that caused damage?  Vegetation? (needed for privacy, or trampled completely?), adjacent radiant heat from unmanaged lands nearby?
    • What are some of the best strategies for management within and around the camps?
  • Wildfire Risk and Structure ProtectionEthan Foote, CalFire (retired)
    • What can be done to retrofit the structures, tent cabins.  New canvas material?  Tent platform designs, coatings, ignition-resistant materials.
  • Communications with Emergency Responders Before, During and After the Wildfire John Swanson, Ret USFS
    • Communications both in camp and between camps during emergencies.
    • Possible to develop a network of camps to develop and share best practices?
    • Communication with fire response agencies.
  • Resource Protection Carol Rice and Kevin Locke, Wildland Resource Mangement
    • What strategies work for managing vegetation in concert with recreation needs.  Especially consider streamside concerns, privacy issues.
  • Camps’ Role in a Wildfire Carol Rice, Wildland Resource Mangement
    • What fire protection systems could have made a difference: foam, gel, retardant?  Is water abundant and useful?
    • Possible training staff and management in initial attack (not sustained).
    • Evacuation measures, safety of campers.  When do you evacuate?  Smoke issues make evacuation early best option.
  • View of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp
  • Overview of Rim Fire Complex Jan Van Wagtendonk
  • Example From Camps - Mike Yaley, Lair of Bear, Ryan Stewart, Edison
    • The Lair has a Master Plan, thinned forest, started restoration of meadow AND reforestation of aspen, brought campers to active logging shows to show benefits of treatments.
    • Specific to the Lair, what would you change to make it fit new situation & knowledge?
    • How has forest management and recreation been coordinated at So Cal Edison?
  • Forest Recovery Susie Kocher, Forestry/Natural Resources Advisor, UCCE Central Seirra
    • Are they ready for recovery?
    • What procedures and practices could aid recovery?
  • How Can Camps Use This Information? Planning and ImplementationCheryl Miller, Diablo FireSafe Council
    • Use of FSCs to get increased funding.
    • Look to Coop Extension for sources of information.
    • CWPPs as a way to decrease insurance, further collaborate with neighbors.
    • Master Plans.
    • Timber revenue as funding source.
    • FSCs as a way for outreach, developing an environmental learning module.
  • Tour of Camp Tawonga – Ken Kramarz

Sponsored by:

UC Berkeley Center for Forestry and UC Cooperative Extension Central Sierra

For more information:

Contact Susie Kocher (530) 542-2571, or email her at sdkocher@ucanr.edu

Download the Wildfire Risk Reduction for Outdoor Camps workshop flyer.