oaks

Controlled Burn Tests Eco-Benefits of Fire

May 30, 2017
Bruce Robinson / KRCB-FM

That plume of smoke rising from the Bouverie Preserve near Glen Ellen late Tuesday morning was a carefully watched experiment in applying a land management technique that goes back thousands of years.

The fire took about three hours to burn across the designated 17 acre area. That was ample time for any affected wildlife to leave the area or take cover underground, says ACR Fire Ecologist Sasha Berleman, while deer, when they return, will find a more hospitable landscape.

A group of Napa County environmentalists are pushing for new limits on hillside vineyards, through ballot measure they hope to qualify for the November election. But the Valley’s wine industry is pushing back.

  Two reservoirs on either side of the Napa Valley represent the main drinking water supply for the city of Napa and other area residents, but their water quality is at risk from vineyards expanding into the hillsides above those lakes, says Mike Hackett, one of the main advocates for the Water, Forest and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative.