TREX Public Info
Butte Cal-TREX Public Information
The Butte Cal-TREX partners look forward to bringing a Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) event to Butte County.
This event utilizes prescribed fire to restore forest health, reduce hazardous fuels around communities, and provide access to training and skills development for local residents and professionals. Participants of the event include people from all different backgrounds, including fire professionals, Tribal knowledge keepers, ranchers, timber growers, land managers, retirees, college students, and other community members who are interested in learning how to use fire as a tool to protect communities and restore fire adapted ecosystems.
The TREX model provides a framework for planning, collaboration, incident management, and liability control. Therefore, every participant is also receiving training. For many, this training will lead to qualifications they can use to advance to the next level in their careers. Other participants may not be interested inbecoming fire professionals, but will become part of a local, on-call prescribed fire burn team that implements prescribed fire safely on a diversity of land ownerships throughout Butte and Plumas Counties.
The individuals and organizations working on this event acknowledge that fire risk and hazardous air quality has been impacting Butte County residents for an extended period of time, and seeing even more smoke after the long summer we've had may be exhausting or triggering for Butte County residents. The goal of the event, and the ongoing use of prescribed fire, is to protect communities and increase the resilience of ecosystems in the inevitable event of large-scale wildfires. If you have questions about this event, please reach out to our Public Information Officer Gary Day at email@example.com.
How can I stay informed about TREX burns?
Butte County RCD and other partner Facebook pages will be regularly updated during the event. CAL FIRE and Butte Air Quality Management District will be keeping the community informed about prescribed fires as they are planned. Updates will be sent to community Facebook pages, BCFAC and Butte Wx Spotter Facebook, and [ ..................]
Also, you can use the form at the bottom to register your interest in updates and you will be added to an email list.
Has there been a TREX before? TREX is a model that has been successfully adapted to many different communities. There are many TREXs each year across the nation and throughout the world. Here are some great links about why we burn, diverse examples of the TREX model, and video from a TREX near Weitchpec/Yurok territory in 2019.
Who is the responsible party for the planned burn(s) in Butte County?
The TREX burns are planned on both public and private lands. On public lands, a qualified burn boss from Plumas and/or Lassen National Forests will be responsible for burn day operations. On private lands, an experienced prescribed fire practitioner will lead burn day operations.
What conditions will be considered safe to burn?
Each burn unit has a burn plan that stipulates the weather prescription for the burn -- that is, the range of temperatures, humidity, winds, and fuel moisture that are acceptable. These prescriptions have been professionally developed and are based on careful analysis of the individual site conditions (microclimates) and the burn objectives (what the landowner is trying to accomplish). The prescriptions are strictly adhered to. If we're not in prescription, we don't burn.
What if it is not safe to burn during the event dates?
The TREX event is designed to be a learning experience for prescribed fire practitioners. Ideally, training includes live fire. However, in case conditions aren't favorable for burning, we've also designed several alternative training day activities. If we don't get any burn window this fall, then our prepped burn units may be burned in the winter, spring, next fall, or whenever a good window with the correct conditions is available.
Where will the burn(s) take place?
There are burn units prepped in Cohasset, in the Big Chico Creek Canyon, in both upper and lower Doe Mill Ridge in Forest Ranch, in Bangor, and several locations on the Feather River Ranger District. The specific units that will be burned as part of this event are highly dependent on the weather and site conditions at the time. Fuel moisture in each area will be monitored prior to the event to assist with unit selection.
What air quality impacts can be expected?
Prescribed fire will create smoke. As opposed to wildfire, smoke impacts from prescribed fire can be mitigated by only burning in favorable fuel and wind conditions. These desirable conditions have already been integrated into the burn prescriptions. Therefore, burns will only proceed if there is a high likelihood their smoke will disperse efficiently, not sit on local communities and hurt people's health. Every effort will be made to reduce smoke impacts to communities from this event. We hope that residents will tolerate smoke that is encountered as a short-term impact that is intended to reduce the more long-term air quality impacts from wildfire. We are working closely with the Butte County Air Quality Management District, and will follow all required smoke management processes.
Didn't see your question answered above? Contact us directly and we'll make sure your questions get answered!