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There is a small window to complete underburn activities before wildfire season begins. Photo submitted

Plumas Underburn Cooperative needs volunteers

Submitted by the Plumas Underburn Cooperative

Want to help your local community to reduce the effects of wildfires? The Plumas Underburn Cooperative, or PUC, will be conducting a dozen or more underburns in the next few weeks before the fire season begins, and can use your help. Perhaps you have seen us out there already, at the pile burn we did at Quincy high school on Easter Sunday, or the burn on Quincy Junction Road this last weekend. By reducing fuels on the local landscape with underburning, wildfires that may come through will be less intense and less likely to burn people’s houses.

It’s really easy to help. The inexperienced are encouraged to apply. PUC, part of the Plumas County Fire Safe Council, has been active now for several years and has the tools and know-how to get you started. We will assign you to a burn with a squad leader who will give you a tool and show you what to do. You can hold a drip torch to put good fire on the ground, or hold a fire hose to make sure the underburn stays where it should.

Or, you are welcome just to come and watch. We want to educate the public about the benefits of underburning. This is an ancient practice that the Maidu people used for centuries to manage the landscape in a sustainable manner. You are welcome to come see what we do, and talk to the CalFire firefighters who often come to many of our burns to provide backup for our efforts. (We always get proper permits for burning, and you should too!)

Smoke mitigation is a big concern for all of our burns. We only burn when the weather conditions are such that the smoke will rise and disperse, and not stay low where it will bother people in their homes. We work closely with the Air Quality Management District to ensure that smoke effects are kept to a minimum.

Over the next few weeks PUC will be conducting burns in various locations throughout the county while the conditions are still on the moist side and within safety parameters. We only have a short window of opportunity to do this work in the spring and in the fall when conditions are dry enough to burn but wet enough to do so safely. Now is the time of year to put good fire on the ground, and PUC needs help of able bodied people who can hold a rake and climb the hillside. (oh, and eat pizza too!)

Do you have property in the county and are wondering about how to make it fire safe? The Fire Safe Council has many resources to help you, from grants to do forest thinning work to home hardening advice to underburning with PUC, and more. Coming out to a burn with us is a great way to start if you just want to learn about how to proceed.

Get in contact and let us know what your availability is to help us on a burn! If you don’t want to hold a shovel we can always use help making sandwiches or just providing moral support! We as a community can work together to make where we live a safer place to live by doing the land management that will reduce fire impacts. That’s what PUC is all about! See you at the next burn!

Contact Logan Krahenbuhl
Project Manager
Plumas Underburn Cooperative
Plumas County Fire Safe Council
(530) 927-5327
[email protected]
on facebook at Plumas Underburn Cooperative

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