The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are home to thousands of acres of wildlands across Orange County. The recent rains caused great growth throughout the open spaces, but as temperatures rise and grasslands and Chaparral areas dry out, the risk of ignition greatly increases. Join Orange County Fire Watch at the 2017 Fire Watch Symposium to learn more about the impending fire season, how to prevent wildfires, and for more information on volunteering for the Fire Watch program. The symposium kicks off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27 and will include a variety of guest speakers and refreshments at the Quail Hill Community Center in the City of Irvine.
Fire is a natural part of Orange County’s ecosystem. Many of Southern California’s plants are adapted to fire and the natural fire cycle, which historically occurs every 60 to 100 years on average. Over the last century, the fire cycle has increased, with fires coming every 15 to 30 years due to human caused ignitions, dry weather conditions, and strong Santa Ana winds. The increased frequency of the natural fire cycle does not allow native plants time to fully recover, which means areas can get overtaken by non-native plants. Having more flammable and non-native grasses and plants in the region can increase the risk of human-caused ignitions, whether it be embers from a flicked cigarette or hot sparks from a parked car.
The Orange County Fire Watch program is designed to reduce the rate of human-caused wildland fires by monitoring potential ignition sources, especially during extreme weather conditions and high-risk circumstances like the 4th of July. Highly-trained volunteers patrol the perimeters of high-risk areas in Orange County, acting as visual deterrents, and reporting suspicious or dangerous behaviors or activities. Volunteers are vital to early detection and reporting of ignitions, and the Fire Watch Symposium will shed more light on this important program. Guests of the symposium will learn in depth about fire safety, fire detection, and the course of action to take if a fire is detected.
To register for the the Orange County Fire Watch Symposium on June 27, click here. The Symposium begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at Quail Hill Community Center; 39 Shady Canyon Dr., Irvine, CA 92603. For more information on the Fire Watch program and volunteer opportunities, visit http://letsgooutside.org/activities/fire-watch/.
For more information on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, visit www.LetsGoOutside.org.