Stewarding with fire: how prescribed burns help protect the land from larger, hotter fires
As a member of Monan’s Rill, Thea co-stewards 414 acres. Prior to 2020, much of that land was dense with manzanitas. With the lens of fire stewardship, Thea’s approach to land stewardship has shifted, especially as it relates to controlled burns.
“In a lot of our oak woodlands, we had overgrowth in manzanita,” Thea explains. “Manzanita burned very hot in the fire and it killed a lot of oaks,” referring to the damage from the 2020 Glass Fire.
Carlson is quite busy these days
“Now we are cutting, piling, and burning the dead manzanita and other dead trees so that they are not fuel for the next wildfire.” This transition to remove burned trees with a chainsaw was not an easy one for Thea. With additional during our Wildland Fire Chainsaws course, she became confident enough to begin felling trees and cutting brush back at Monan’s Rill.
“One of the first trees I cut down when I came back to the land here, actually the first tree I cut during the training, also, had a heart shape when I cut it down,” Thea says with a soft smile.
“It felt like a message from the land that this was something that is important to do, and it is an act of love.”
With guidance and support from Fire Forward, Thea and other members of Monan’s Rill also plan to conduct periodic broadcast prescribed burns on most of the 414 acres they co-steward moving forward, to support ecological health and protect the community from future wildfires.
For the complete interview, please watch Why Thea Maria Carlson Chose Nature Thank you for your time to read this blog, and celebrate nature and community with us.