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Fire Prevention Awareness and Trivia Answers

Stewarding sensitive resources, such as the vast grasslands that comprise more than half of Sycamore Grove Park, requires diligence and adaptive management. With September being "National Preparedness Month," we're sharing how LARPD prepares for high-risk wildfire season by regularly conducting controlled burns in Sycamore Grove Park. 

Keep following along with us via news posts and social media in the following months to learn more about how we manage the natural resources in Sycamore Grove Park.  

True or False: California fire season is from May to October?

False! According to the Western Fire Chief Association's in-depth guide, California fire season can be year-round!

While the historic fire season ranges from May to October, the rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall associated with climate change have broadened the spectrum  (see graphic above).

Bonus question: When is the most destructive time of year for fires? 

A fire burns the dry, golden grasses at Holdener park near a building; black and white smoke billows back over the hills.
Vegetation fire at Holdener Park from July 2006.

If you answered the fall months, you're correct! Fall winds can quickly increase the spread of fire and dry out vegetation, leaving it more susceptible to wildfires.

While wildfires are unintentional and uncontrolled, we must be careful not to generalize all fires as scary; fire is a natural phenomenon in California and provides numerous benefits. Our ecosystem depends on periodic fires to maintain ecological balance and prevent the detrimental consequences of large, uncontrolled wildfires.

A firefighter monitors the controlled burn on Valley View trail
Controlled Burn at Sycamore Grove Park, 2023

For centuries, indigenous peoples have recognized and continue to recognize fire as a natural occurrence and tool necessary to clear out organic debris and recycle nutrients in the soil. 

Managing controlled burns provides valuable training opportunities for LARPD staff, Livermore Pleasanton Fire, and other organizations to further fire prevention knowledge and responsiveness.