Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

North Central Valley Fire Management Zone Photos

Prescribed Fire - Grassland & Vernal Pool Habitat Management

Prescribed fire is an important tool in managing habitat on National Wildlife Refuge lands. Grassland and vernal pool habitat is effectively managed with the prescribed fire as a means to remove invasive nonnative plants. These plants are poor food sources for wildlife, compete with native plants for water and sunlight, and increase the areas wildfire risk.

Photo of the interagency training burn coordinated by the US Fish & Wildlife Service at the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Photo of firefighters from the North Central Valley Fire Management Zone using a modified six-wheel vehcile as a 'light on the land' technique for presribed fire. Photo of Ross' Geese and Snow Geese feeding on new grass in recent prescribed burn area Photo of vernal pool flowers and habitat areas managed with fire Photo of firefighters from the North Central Valley Fire Management Zone use drip torches to burn off a vernal pool/ alkali meadown to help remove non-native plants

Hazardous Fuels Reduction in the Wildland Urban Interface

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service utilizes a range of management tools to reduce the risk of wildfire to communities in wildland urban interface. Reducing hazardous fuels on refuge lands, creating fuel breaks (an area with reduced vegetation or natural barriers to fire spread) and working with homeowners to create defensible space are all fire management objectives in the wildland urban interface.

Photo of the goat and sheep herder overseeing goat grazing on the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge near Elk Grove, CA. Photo by Kipp Morrill Photo of a masticator being used to help clear thick brush which poses a fire risk to neighboring communities on the Sacramento River National Widlife Refuge. Photo of California Conservation Corps crew members using a chipper to help reduce hazardous fuels on the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge. Photo of an interagency prescribed burn at the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge to help reduce hazardous fuels and protect adjacent homes from wildfires. Photo of a prescribed burn at the Sacaramento National Wildlife Refuge to help protect homes and adjacent power and trasportion routes (Interstate 5) from wildfire. Herding Dogs

Fire Prevention, Education and Outreach

Fire prevention, education and outreach activities occur throughout the region working through numerous partnerships and initiatives.

Photo of Dale Shippelhoute, Zone Fire Management Officer and other local fire partners talking with a homeowner about fire prevention and mitigation after a fire nearly burned their home. Photo of The Fish & Wildlife Service Blue Goose and Smokey Bear talking to a local school group about national wildlife refuges and fire management Photo of Engine Captain Mark Rakestraw talking with a local girl scout troupe about fire equipment during the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Junior Firefighter Event Photo of Assistance Zone Fire Management Officer Kipp Morrill posing with a large Smokey Bear statue and Cosumnes Community Services Fire District Fire Captain George Apple to commemorate a collaborative fire prevention effort Photo of zone fire crew demonstrating fire truck features to families at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery Return of the Salmon Festival

Prescribed Fire for Wetland Habitat Enhancement

Prescribed fire is a valuable tool in wetland habitat management. Thick and overgrown vegetation which provides poor habitat conditions can be cleared for new growth and creates open pool areas for waterfowl. On many of the National Wildlife Refuges, habitat is managed intensively for concentrated wildlife use by numerous species.

Photo of zone fire engine operator Jeremy McMahon helping with tri-colored blackbird banding project 2-years after prescribed burn for wetland habitat management. Tri-colored blackbirds prefer more open tule and wetland vegetation which is attained through prescribed burning techniques. Photo of Fish & Wildlife Service collateral zone firefighter Chris Beane using a drip torch to ignite tule vegetation for a prescribed burn at the Delevan National Wildlife Refuge Photo of zone firefighter using a drip torch to burn off old vegetation and open open habitat for better wildlife use at the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge Photo of zone firefighters using an airboat to help access wetland areas for prescribed burn at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. Photo of a prescribed burn at the Delevan National Wildife Refuge.  The foreground shows how fire burns down the old vegetation which will allow better wildlife use in following years