Written by Anika Nicolas
Wildfires are becoming increasingly dangerous in California. As climate change, drought, and high winds become more extreme, wildfires have increased in severity and become harder to predict.
In 2020 alone, wildfires burned over 4.2 million acres, with six of the ten largest recorded fires in California’s history occurring within the year. The SCU Lightening Complex burned close to 400,000 acres in Alameda County and nearby counties.
Fire season this year has again been devastating and affects so many aspects of our life, especially our local air quality.
Fire management is already a part of our habitat land preservation management plans. These areas are most vulnerable to disturbance, and a high-severity fire can result in long-term or permanent loss of vegetation, expansion of nonnative species, an increase in invasive species, and long-term or permanent loss of essential habitat for wildlife.
As these wildfires threaten their natural habitat, wild animals flee into urban regions. As seen in the photo of preserved land in Pleasanton (left), no habitat is immune to fires, but quick action and proper long-term management were able to keep the fire low and non-destructive.
The Tri-Valley Conservancy is also working with local farmers to mitigate fire danger.
Tri-Valley Conservancy’s goal is to create a thriving greenbelt of agriculture around the City to protect open space and reduce the fire threat. That includes ensuring that agricultural land near the City continues to be planted and maintained. Vineyards have the potential to act as a natural firebreak, slowing down fires and saving homes and lives.
By working with LPFD and other organizations, the Tri-Valley Conservancy is making a plan to help property owners better prepare for and prevent wildfires in our community.