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


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 Management
    • 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 Management
    • 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.