For Immediate Release
Prescribed burning operations planned at Tolay Lake Regional Park
SANTA ROSA, CA | July 17, 2023
Sonoma County Regional Parks (SCRP), in partnership with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (Tribe) and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, are planning to conduct a prescribed burn for Tolay Lake Regional Park on Tuesday, July 18, 2023. Fire crews will burn approximately 90 acres starting as early as 8 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Smoke may be visible in the air around the Lakeville area for up to 7 hours. These are permitted controlled burns; do not call 911.
The burn will take place in grassland near the park center and parking area. The entire park will be closed for the day and closure signs will be posted.
As part of the Co-Management Agreement between the Tribe and SCRP, this burn is being conducted to return cultural fire to Tolay Lake, reduce the risks of future wildfire, promote biodiversity and control invasive species. Thinning vegetation coupled with prescribed burning reduces surface and ladder fuels to help protect the Park’s natural resources including native trees and adjacent communities from future wildfire severity.
Prescribed vegetation management burns are carefully planned and must meet strict criteria for ecological benefit, weather parameters, smoke management, and fire safety guidelines. (The planned date is subject to last-minute changes due to those considerations.) When all conditions are met, trained wildland firefighters conduct the burn while monitoring the set criteria, fire behavior, and designated fire control lines. The prescribed burn will comply with requirements of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
About Sonoma County Regional Parks
Sonoma County Regional Parks includes 56 parks, beaches, and trails. Regional Parks’ mission is to create healthy communities and contribute to the county’s economic vitality by acquiring, developing, managing, maintaining parks. Regional Parks preserves natural and cultural resources and offers opportunities for recreation and education that enhance the quality of life and well-being of residents and visitors.
About the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria is a sovereign nation and a federally recognized Indian Tribe, comprised of Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo peoples, whose cultural and ancestral territories include Marin and Sonoma Counties. In October 2022, the Tribe and SCRP entered into a 20-year Co-Management Agreement for Tolay Lake Regional Park. The Tribe’s historical and cultural connections to Tolay Park, its investment in protecting and preserving its cultural resources and heritage, and its singular expertise regarding important features, landscapes and places of Tolay Park, all enhance Tolay Park and our work with SCRP.
About CAL FIRE
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) serves and safeguards the people and protects the property and resources of California. The CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, or LNU for short, is one of 21 CAL FIRE administrative units, and one of the largest. Spanning north of the San Francisco Bay Area from the Pacific Ocean to the Interstate-5 corridor, the counties of Colusa, Lake, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo come together to form a CAL FIRE Unit. LNU has primary responsibility for 2,063,280 acres of State Responsibility Area (SRA) – the most of any CAL FIRE Unit - and a vast range of vegetation types, populations and political climates. We staff 21 fire stations, 31 state engines, six bulldozers, operate two conservation camps, have one fuel reduction crew, a firefighter hand crew, one helitack base, one air attack base and many other support staff positions.
For more information on how Regional Parks uses low-intensity prescribed fire as a landscape management tool, visit SoCoParks.org/Fire.
Public Information Officer
1199 Big Tree Rd., St. Helena, CA 94574
707-480-1141 - Cell
Sonoma County Regional Parks provides essential opportunities for people to connect with nature. We contribute to the vibrancy and well-being of our community by expanding access to recreation experiences, serving as responsible stewards of cultural and natural resources, and ensuring that our parks are clean, safe and welcoming. Learn more at SonomaCountyParks.org.