University of California
Fire in California

Post-fire Management

This series of videos has been curated to provide viewers with wildfire and post-wildfire resources. All of these recordings were produced in 2020. Click the title of each talk to view the presentation. These videos have been organized in these main topics:

  • Livestock, Rangelands, & Wildlife
  • Poultry
  • Forests & Woodlands
  • Vineyards & Orchards
  • Soils & Produce

Livestock, Rangelands, & Wildlife

A Survey of Wildfire Ash Impacts on California’s Forage Crops

Betsy Karle discusses how Cooperative Extension Advisors and Specialists have sampled a variety of forages throughout California to evaluate the impact of wildfire ash on feed quality and safety. Though the focus is on California forages, the guidance shared can benefit those in any area.

 

Disaster Preparation for Commercial Livestock Operations

Dan Macon, UC Cooperative Extension Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor, discusses disaster preparation for commercial-scale ranches in the Sierra Foothills and elsewhere. Ranching businesses face a specific set of challenges when it comes to protecting facilities and livestock – this short video includes information on the types of potential disasters (including wildfire) and on the importance of developing – and sharing – a written plan.

 

Principles of Targeted Grazing, Managing livestock and Grazing for Fuel Load Reduction

Dan Macon, UC Cooperative Extension Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor, discusses the principles of targeted grazing, including techniques for targeting specific types of vegetation, as well as animal husbandry, nutrition, and logistical considerations. This information can be used broadly in any location.

 

Wildfires and Cattle Health

Dr. Gabriele Maier, UC Cooperative Extension specialist for beef cattle herd health and production discusses health issues in cattle after wildfires. While the intended audience is cattle producers in California, the information is relevant to any area that is affected by fires.

 

Impact of Fire on Rangelands, What to Expect and What to Do

Morgan Doran (UC Cooperative Extension Livestock & Natural Resources Advisor), Tanya Meyer (Yolo County Resource Conservation District Program Manager) and Chris Rose (Solano Resource Conservation District Executive Director) discuss how rangeland ecosystems are very resilient to wildfires and generally do not require post-fire interventions for rehabilitation. They provide information about expected plant community impacts and factors to consider for strategic reseeding of burned sites. This presentation was made in response to the 2020 LNU Fire Complex in Napa, Solano and Yolo counties, but has application to most annual rangelands across California.

 

Human-Wildlife Interactions Post Fire

Carolyn Whitesell, PhD., with UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, discusses direct and indirect impacts on wildlife and how significant wildfires can be for different wildlife species. She also discusses the likelihood of seeing different species in burned areas and whether or not it’s a good idea to put out water for wildlife after fires.

Poultry

Safety of Backyard Chicken Eggs Post Urban Wildfire

Todd Kelman, veterinarian and engineer at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, discusses the safety of eating eggs from backyard poultry after a wildfire event. This video is intended for anyone whose backyard poultry has been exposed to the ash and smoke of urban wildfire, or whose property may have directly burned in such an event. While much of the focus is on California, the subject matter and the basic considerations for risk assessment and management are applicable worldwide.

Forests & Woodlands

Post-fire Reforestation Considerations

Ryan Tompkins, Forestry & Natural Resources Advisor for Plumas-Sierra and Lassen counties, broadly covers, for the Sierra Nevadas, post-fire reforestation considerations, reforestation resources, and examples of managing fuel loads and competing vegetation in plantations to improve resiliency of re-establishing dry mixed conifer forest ecosystems in the 21st century. 

 

Understanding Wildfire Impacts 

Rich Casale, Certified Professional erosion and Sediment Control Specialist, shares post fire restoration help such as erosion and sediment control advice, assessment of hazardous trees, concerns related to water course impacts, slopes, access roads, debris issues, damages from fire fighting efforts, etc. The ultimate goal of the presentation is to provide an understanding of the role of nature and processes in place in the post fire landscape so that fire victims/landowners and advisors (including contractors) can be better prepared and can make wiser and technically correct decisions when addressing site specific post fire restoration issues.

 

Post-Fire Oak Survival and Regeneration

Michael Jones, UC Cooperative Extension Forest Advisor, discusses how oaks have different life history strategies for dealing with fire, how to assess burn damage in order to determine survival, presents on data collected following the 2018 River Fire to show how oak woodlands start to recover after fire, and concludes by talking about post-fire management considerations. This information is applicable to oak woodlands throughout California.

 

Lessons Learned from Redwood Forests: Post-fire Wildfire Survival and Regeneration

Yana Valachovic (Humboldt and Del Norte) and Michael Jones (Lake, Mendocino, and Sonoma), both UC Cooperative Extension Forest Advisors, discuss wildfire impacts on redwood forest systems. They review lightning-ignited fires over the last 20 years from Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, and Santa Cruz counties from old-growth and second-growth forest systems. They share information about understanding fire severity, assessing fire damage, predicting survival, and post-fire best management practices.  This presentation is recommended for landowners managing redwood forests.

Vineyards & Orchards

Fire and Smoke Damage Mitigation in Vineyards

Glenn McGourty discusses how in any location, wine grapes may be ruined when exposed to smoke from wildfires. Volatile phenolic compounds found in fresh smoke are absorbed by the leaves and fruit of wine grapes during wild fire events. These compounds bind with sugar in the fruit when the wine grapes are crushed and come into contact with skins during processing. Our study investigates how proximity to fires wind direction, temperature and fruit maturity affect the degree of damage known as "smoke taint" to fruit. 

 

Wildfire Impacts on Orchards

Kat Jarvis-Shean, Orchard Systems Advisor in Yolo, Solano and Sacramento Counties, walks through the different ways that fire can impact orchards, the signs of damage, the timing of when to expect to see those signs, and what steps to consider based on the damage observed in the tree. Examples are from temperate orchards (e.g. olives, walnuts), so this is most relevant to Northern California growers. However, many of the considerations are relevant for sub-tropical orchards as well (e.g. citrus, avocado). Developed in collaboration with Ben Faber, UC Cooperative Extension Ventura County.

Soils & Produce

Post-Fire Produce Safety

Julia VanSoelen-Kim, food systems advisor for the northern San Francisco Bay Area, discusses the effects of smoke and ash on produce, some soil contaminant issues, defines how the risks are assessed, and talks about the relative risks of consuming produce grown in ash contaminated areas.

 

Safe Soils After Fires

Rob Bennaton, urban horticulture advisor for the East Bay Area, discusses fire effects on soils and soil properties, how to assess fire risk to soils, contamination types found in post-fire soils, contaminant uptake paths, and best practices for managing exposure to potential contaminant sources, including testing.

 

Contaminants in Soil After Fire

Claire O’Brien is currently a graduate student in pharmacology and toxicology at UC Davis, where she studies environmental contamination resulting from wildfires. She discusses the various contaminants that impact human health from wildfire, exposure pathways, classes of contaminants of concern in post-fire soils, and the comparative risk factors for different groups of people.

 

Sonoma County Fires Site Clearance & Testing

J. Glenn Morelli here discusses the cleanup process. He breaks down the decontamination process into stages, describes the contaminants of concern, what can realistically be tested for and to what target levels cleanups are targeted to. Please note that this video is anchored in the cleanup process used in the Nunns and Tubbs fires and some of the presentation is specific only to Sonoma and to some degree Napa Counties.

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