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Vision Fire Burn Chronology

Point Reyes NS
Erin Noonan
The Vision Fire occurred between October 3 - 14, 1995, and burned 12,534 acres of private, state, and federal lands. Over 90 percent (11,598 acres) of the burned area was within Point Reyes National Seashore, an area administered by the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) that is north of San Francisco, California. In addition to burning wildlands, the fire consumed 45 homes in the town of Inverness Park. Winds up to 45 miles per hour resulted in fast rates of spread, which burned 6,521 acres in 24 hours (Allen et al., 1996).

The Vision Fire Burn Chronology poster depicts a fire progression and subsequent fire severities ranging from high to low during the first few days of the fire. Also included are maps of plant communities and subsequent acreage affected by different fire intensities. A preliminary fire perimeter map was created by the BAER (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation) team. Using criteria such as soil type, geological features, pre-fire vegetation, and the remaining post-fire vegetation, they created the fire severity maps. This product was improved upon from data obtained from a post-fire aerial flight of the Vision fire area. This reconnaissance obtained a mosaic of burned and unburned patches of the Vision Fire. These data were combined with the initial perimeter map and used to update the fire severity map resulting in the creation of a fine-scale mosaic of fire severity.

A majority of the Vision fire area burned with lower intensities, affecting a majority of evergreen shrub communities. Likewise, more riparian, Douglas-fir/Redwood, and hardwood forest acreage burned in areas with low fire intensity. Bishop pine forests were affected most by high intensity burning; indicative of the crown fire activity that took place in these stands. All plant communities lost some acreage due to moderate intensity burning.
April 08, 2004