Fire training attracts firefighters to North Coast from around the world
ORICK- Firefighters from around the world have come together and joined forces in Humboldt County, but they are not here to battle fires, they are here to start them.
"This two week event is really unique in that it is the first of its kind in California, bringing people from all over the country and even internationally to come together and use fire, use new skills and work together to accomplish different objectives."
And one of those objectives is to bring back the ecosystem. Leonel Arguello is in charge of vegetation management for Redwood National Park and said controlled burns in the park is an important tool used to restore the prairie land,
"It helps with re-growth in the following spring, and it also helps to control some of the species we do not want to see occurring in units like this," he said.
One of the species Arguello said is a Douglas Fir, native to northern California but when full grown can wipe out its surrounding neighbors, like the Oak tree.
Arguello said, "By using fire, we are able to cause a mortality to those woody species. It helps maintain these open grasslands in an opened landscape."
Without controlled burns, he said the consequences could be devastating, “You would lose these grasslands entirely, they would convert to a forest. We have seen already anywhere from thirty to forty percent in reduction in the extent of these grasslands since 1850."
Davidson said it takes hours of preparation and requires a diverse roster of expertise to pull off the entire operation,
"We have some people who have been in fire for 25 years, they're division chiefs, they are fire captains, they have got tons of experience and knowledge, and then we have people who have never done this before."
Lindsay Dailey is from Sonoma County and works for a non-profit that focuses on educating people about sustainable land management. She said the best way to learn what she teaches, is to experience it first-hand.
"There is nothing like getting your boots on the ground to get experience,” said Dailey.