ACR's Fire Forward staff, volunteer prescribed burners from the Good Fire Alliance and the Cooley Ranch crew hosted an active prescribed fire training in early March, aided by the 'false spring' clear and cool weather window.

Under guidance and instruction of ranch owner Bob Cooley, more than 20 professional and interested burners from Mendocino, Lake, Napa, Sonoma Counties and the East Bay convened on the 19,000-acre ranch to reduce fuels and familiarize themselves with fire in a low-pressure, low-key learning environment while teamed-up with coaches to mentor them.

Objectives of the day included burning a blackline/buffer area along control lines for a planned prescribed burn unit later this spring, clearing out solid thatchy cattail and bull rush (including ignition from a canoe!) to improve habitat for nesting birds, improving mixed brush browse and habitat from ridge to floor, and offering participants the opportunity to practice spot-fire containment.

Cooley Ranch, which has continued its burning culture throughout the past era of fire suppression, is located north of Lake Sonoma and straddles both Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.

The After Action Review included a visit from the ranch dogs on their evening patrol—they seemed pleased with our work!

Thank you GFA community and the Cooley Ranch, for this successful controlled burn.