The Whitaker prescribed fire, in June 2012, was an interagency project completed in cooperation between the National Park Service and the Center for Forestry, part of UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources. This 504-acre unit, 429 acres of which were on park land and 75 acres on UC Center for Forestry land, is in the Redwood Mountain Grove.
Redwood Mountain is home to the largest giant sequoia grove in the world and is also the birthplace of prescribed fire in the western United States. Starting in 1963 and 1964, researchers for both the National Park Service and University of California first studied the need for fire to sustain the giant sequoia. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks began using prescribed fires in 1968. By monitoring change following the Whitaker prescribed fire, scientists and managers will further improve our understanding of the complex relationship between fire and giant sequoias.