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Don’t Miss the Virtual Fire Watch Symposium on May 8th!

PictureSilverado Fire. Image courtesy of OC Parks.

On Saturday, May 8 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Irvine Ranch Conservancy will conduct the annual Fire Watch Symposium virtually. Due to state and local guidelines, last year’s symposium was cancelled, but IRC staff and partners have transitioned the symposium to a virtual format that will allow participants to tune in on YouTube and Facebook.
 
“In these COVID times, the Fire Watch Symposium has a slightly different format than the previous years and our normal activities,” said Tony Pointer, Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Fire Watch Manager. “This year, the symposium will be presented virtually on IRC’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, making it easy for the public to attend the symposium from the comfort of their own home.”
 
This year’s main presenter will be award-winning wildfire and astronomy photographer Stuart Palley, who will share his photos and experiences responding to and capturing wildfires in California. Additional presentations and discussions will be conducted by fire prevention specialists, wildland resource planners, meteorologists, park rangers, and fire agency representatives.

In recent years, increased wildfire danger has become more of a threat to native Orange County wildlands, with fires occurring 90% more frequently than natural return intervals of 70 to 150 years. During fall of 2020, two devastating wildfires damaged thousands of acres of land including parts of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, as well as local neighborhoods. With little rainfall in the past year and the dry summer months ahead, it’s important to be prepared for potential wildfire events in Orange County.
 
The Orange County Fire Watch program is facilitated in partnership with OC Parks, City of Irvine, City of Newport Beach, Irvine Ranch Conservancy, and Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA). The volunteer program is managed by Irvine Ranch Conservancy staff, and its mission is to reduce catastrophic wildfires through education, early reporting and deterrence.
 
To watch this year’s virtual Fire Watch Symposium on YouTube or Facebook, subscribe to the IRNaturalLandmarks YouTube channel and follow the IRLandmarks Facebook page. A recording of the symposium will be available on YouTube and Facebook after the event date. For more information about Irvine Ranch Conservancy and the Fire Watch program, visit LetsGoOutside.org