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Prescribed Burn Association

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What are Prescribed Burn Associations?

Prescribed Burn Associations (PBAs) are community-based mutual aid networks that help landowners and land managers put "good fire" back on the land. “Good fire”, a term that includes both prescribed and cultural fire, is the intentional application of fire to achieve specific outcomes, such as: wildfire mitigation through fuels reduction, invasive species control, improved forage quality and quantity, improved ecosystem health, and tribal/cultural objectives. Unlike high intensity wildfires, prescribed burning is the controlled application of fire under precise environmental conditions with pre-planned management objectives.

Prescribed Burn Associations can take a variety of forms but are always a way for community members to come together and share skills, experience, knowledge, equipment, and other resources to conduct ecologically minded and safe prescribed burning.

PBAs commonly support the following activities:

  • Determining if/when a burn should be completed

  • Planning, permitting, and communication

  • Providing resources, information, training, equipment, logistical support, and personnel

  • Expanding community support for prescribed burning

  • Building a culture of safe and effective use of prescribed fire

Prescribed Burn Association Formation in Solano County

Solano RCD has funding from the Department of Conservation to explore the formation of Prescribed Burn Association in Solano County. To accomplish this, SRCD is trying to gather information about:

  • what prescribed fire is currently happening on private land

  • what barriers residents face in using prescribed fire

  • and what interest residents have in PBA formation in Solano County.

Over 90 people have responded to our survey and over 50 people attend the initial outreach meetings. Attendees at the public outreach meetings expressed an interest in PBA formation and concerns around the barriers to getting fire on the ground such as liability, permitting, air quality regulations, and lack of experience or expertise. Folks in attendance had a wide range of experience levels around the use of prescribed fire, from people who burn most years on their properties to firefighters and to people who have never participated in a burn before.

The prescribed fire survey results reflected these same concerns of barriers to getting prescribed fire on the ground such as liability, permitting and regulations, lack of experience, as well as lack of community support. Additionally, the same variation across levels of experience with prescribed fire was reflected in our results.

Given the interest from the public we are planning more PBA meetings to discuss various topics including: liability, permits and regulations, and the process to get a prescribed burn on the ground. There are also more resources about these topics and more at the bottom of this page.

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Links to More Information:

↓ Prescribed Fire & Good Fire

Prescribed Fire – CAL FIRE

Good Fire – Current Barriers to the Expansion of Cultural Burning and Prescribed Fire in California and Recommended Solutions – Karuk Tribe Climate Change Project

Prescribed Fire Benefits – University of California Cooperative Extension

Prescribed Fire: Benefits for people and the land – US Forest Service

Prescribed Burning – California Air Resources Board

Can Prescribed Fires Mitigate Health Harm? – American Lung Association

Planning a Prescribed Burn – California PBA website

How the Indigenous practice of ‘good fire’ can help our forests thrive – Information on the differences between prescribed fire and cultural fire

Prescribed Fire Gains Momentum – UCANR 

↓ Prescribed Burn Associations

California PBA website

Prescribed Burn Associations – California Cattlemen’s Association

What is a Prescribed Burn Association – University of California Cooperative Extension Sonoma

Find a PBA on the CAL PBA website – We hope Solano will be reflected on this map soon!

Yolo PBA

Working with Prescribed Burn Associations – Tori Norville, University of California Cooperative Extension

↓ Permitting and Regulations

Options for Prescribed Fire on Private Lands in California, Jeffrey Stackhouse & Lenya Quinn-Davidson, Grasslands 2019

CAL FIRE Burn Permit Responsibility Area Viewer – Use this link to identify your Air Quality Management District and which fire responsibility area you are in.

CAL FIRE Burn Permit Page

Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Open Burn Information

Yolo Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD) Open Burning

Permits and Regulations – UCANR

Prescribed Fire Information Reporting System (PFIRS)

Open Burn Fact Sheet – BAAQMD

Solano PBA Permitting Meeting Slides 

↓ Liability

Links on the CAL PBA website

Prescribed Fire Liability in CA – Lenya Quinn-Davidson & Jeffrey Stackhouse, UC Cooperative Extension, 2020

Governor Newson Signs CCA-Sponsored SB 332 - Katie Roberti, California Cattlemen’s Association

SB 332 – the California legislation that changed California from a strict liability state to simple negligence state

SB 926: Prescribed Fire Claims Fund – California legislation that created a 20 million dollar prescribed fire damages fund

SB 926’s passage closes insurance gap to get good fire on the ground – The Nature Conservancy

Solano PBA Liability Meeting Slides


                                                                               All photos are from recent prescribed burn in Yolo County, organized by Yolo PBA.

Contact Us

Solano Resource Conservation District

1170 N Lincoln, Ste. 110
Dixon, CA 95620

Phone: (707) 678-1655 x 101

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