Today’s “Tending the Forest with Fire” workshop summary

5 12 2021

Today Sudden Oak Life, EcoCamp Coyote, and the Central Coast Prescribed Burn Association (CCPBA) held a workshop “Tending the Forest with Fire” at Indian Canyon hosted by Kanyon Sayers-Roods (Mutsun Ohlone). This was a followup event to the Fire Mimicry and TEK workshop at Indian Canyon in November ’21 where we learned the details of fire mimicry and traditional tending of the land.

After singing her beautiful Grandmother song to the group of over 60 participants today, Kanyon shared a thoughtful land acknowledgement and a summary of the Native history of Indian Canyon. I then described briefly the ecology and practice of fire mimicry covered in the previous workshop, and the strategies for staging the cleared materials for burning. Jared Childress (CCPBA) then provided detailed instructions on burn preparation protocols, methods and tools for safe pile burning, and the various resources for conducting these activities on private properties. A crew from Cal Fire showed up with their fire engine and made clear their intent of supporting and educating folks on safe fire management.

Once the fires were started we switched from workshop to work party mode, and ended up burning all the piles of cleared material from the previous workshop. Jonathan Kabat showed up with a simple setup for making biochar, and we made several hundred pounds of biochar today, which we will spread around the nearby oaks to improve their health.

Below are some photos of today’s activities. Many thanks to all who participated!

Opening circle
Jared Childress (Central Coast Prescribed Burn Association)
Feeding the fires
Feeding the fire
Making biochar
Putting out the fires at the end of the day
Biochar spoils