• Image of coast redwood forest along Cal-Barrel Road


    National and State Parks California

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Warning: Elk Calving Season, Elk Can Be Aggressive

    Female (cow) elk are defensive of their newly born calves. As people approach, a cow may charge and/or rear up and lash out with her front legs. For your safety, STAY 500 FEET AWAY from elk, at all times. More »

  • Davison Road Maintenance begins 7/7/2014. Expect delays.

    Beginning July 7, road crews will be grading sections of Davison Road between the hours of 8 am and 4:30 pm. Visitors to Gold Bluffs Beach and Fern Canyon should expect 30 minute delays.

Prescribed Fire

Living with Fire
During your travels through Redwood National and State Parks, you may notice trees and landscapes (particularly prairies) that have been charred by fire. Some burns happened due to lightning strikes, some from American Indian-ignited fires of the past, and some from park management using prescribed fire.

The American Indian method of managing plant communities with fire contributed to ecosystem health by clearing brush and encouraging new growth. However, management practices by Euro-Americans brought a century of fire suppression and altered landscapes.

Today, park resource managers are returning to the practice of using fire to maintain landscape health. It is the long-term goal for RNSP to restore park lands to the state that existed just prior to Euro-American contact and influence. By using prescribed fire on a regular basis, park managers have set the following goals for prairies and redwood forests.

Objectives for prairies and oak woodlands:

  • Control and eliminate exotic plant species
  • Restrict the spread of an exotic oat grass
  • Kill 80-90 percent of invading Douglas-fir less than six feet tall in prairies
  • Kill 60 percent of Douglas-fir less than six feet tall in oak woodlands
  • Restore native plant species diversity
  • Improve native plant to exotic species plant ratio

Objectives for Old Growth:

  • Provide periodic disturbance to maintain an uneven-aged understory
  • Reduce duff material and small dead and down material
  • Limit old growth mortality to one percent or less
  • Generate hardwood reproduction in the understory
  • Reduce fire intolerant species
  • Limit consumption of large dead and down material
Prescribed fire at Dolason Prairie.
Prescribed fire at Dolason Prairie.
NPS Photo

Did You Know?

foggy redwood forest

Fog accounts for up to one-fourth of the precipitation needed so the mighty coast redwoods can survive. While you hike, fog drip is a good thing!