Fire History Research
One of Whiskeytown’s management goals is to restore the park’s physical and biological systems to approximate early 1800s conditions and processes. Information on historic fire frequency, fire season, and the spatial extent of past fires is critical to understanding how fire shaped the park’s landscapes and how this process can be restored today.
In 2002, a fire history project was conducted in a prescribed burn unit in Whiskeytown’s high elevation mixed conifer forests. Fire scar and forest structure data were collected in the unit, and Danny Fry and Dr. Scott Stephens of the University of California at Berkeley cross-dated and analyzed data from each tree. Their results provided park staff with site-specific information on the fire frequency, seasonality, and fire return intervals within these mixed conifer forests.