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Contact: Jennifer Chapman, 415-464-5133
Fire management staff at Point Reyes National Seashore plan to burn 20 acres on N Ranch near Drakes Estero next week. Burning is scheduled for Thursday, October 21, but the date could change based on weather conditions. Firefighters from the National Park Service and several local fire agencies will conduct the burn from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., followed by patrol and monitoring to ensure the fire is completely out. The goal of this prescribed fire is to control an infestation of invasive Scotch broom by using fire to reduce the densest part of the infestation, which is in the Estero area and is threatening a large part of the park.
The vegetation in the burn unit is grassland mixed with coastal scrub and Scotch broom. The broom was cut earlier this summer and has been drying out prior to burning. Fire has been used in combination with mowing, cutting and pulling to control Scotch broom in the Estero since 1993. Fire effects monitoring has shown that after a series of five treatments, the broom was significantly reduced. The Scotch broom infestation at Point Reyes National Seashore threatens both the quality of the rangeland in the pastoral zone and the native ecosystem, including 15 rare plant species and several animal species of concern.
No road or trail closures are anticipated during the prescribed fire next week. However, drivers in this area should use extra caution if smoke is present.