Monument & Knob Burn Scar
Issues: Climate, Fire, Watersheds, Wild Lands
Partners: Humboldt Area Foundation, Humboldt County, Lower Trinity River Prescribed Burn Association, Trinity County Resource Conservation District, Tsungwe Tribe, Two Rivers Tribune, Willow Creek Community Services District, Yurok Tribe
Airport Origin : McKinleyville, CA
EcoFlight's partner, Lower Trinity River Prescribed Burn Association, assembled important parties and stakeholders to fly the 2021 Monument & Knob burn scars, examining the extent of the fire and winter storm damage and capturing media content. The Klamath area is in need of massive rehabilitation efforts. From the air, your group was able to see the full extent of the fire and storm damage and better understand the clean-up and remediation needs.
The Monument and Knob Fires of 2021 burned massive stretches of land. Hundreds of thousands of acres were burned. Homes and structures were destroyed, highways were closed, and many communities were evacuated; evacuation centers were opened in Weaverville and Willow Creek. Tourism and recreation in the region was heavily impacted, halting rafting. These fires had huge negative ecosystem effects, destroying critical wildlife habitat. Following the fires, the burned, drought-stressed trees were further damaged by winter storms. Winds and snow downed unstable trees at an alarming rate; many slid down the steep forest inclines into the river, disrupting flows and blocking the watershed.
As drought and hot temperatures are intensifying, forest fires are becoming more common and severe. Expert forest management is critical to the health of ecosystems and watersheds. Utilizing traditional knowledge to inform best-forest practices will help to create fire resiliency in this changing climate.