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LIVING WITH FIRE IN CALIFORNIA’S COAST RANGES: Promoting Fire-Resilient Communities and Landscapes in an Era of Global Change

  • Green Music Center/Student Center Rohnert Park, CA, 94928 United States (map)

Photo credits from left to right 1. Coffey Park, Tubbs fire - John Burgess 2. Nuns fire - Kent Porter 3. Pocket fire - Kent Porter

Proceedings and Resources from this event now available at:

This conference intends to cover issues affecting this general geographic area.

This conference intends to cover issues affecting this general geographic area.

Major Sponsors: Sonoma State University, CAL FIRE, US Forest Service, University of California Cooperative Extension, California Fire Science Consortium, Pepperwood Foundation, Sonoma County Forest Conservation Working Group, Community Foundation Sonoma County, 

When: May 7-9, 2018

Parking at: Green Music Center parking near  the Rohnert Park EXPY and Redwood Cir. Permit included with registration. 
Event at: Student Center, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park CA

View recorded presentations on Youtube playlist here>

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About this Event:

In October, 2017, wildfires devastated communities in the areas of Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties. Large, destructive wildfires are not novel in California’s Coast Ranges – remember the Berkeley Hills and Marin County fires in 1923, the North Bay fires in 1964, the Oakland Hills fire in 1991, Lake County in 2015; the Monterey Coast/Big Sur fires in 1977, 2008, and 2016 – but their episodic occurrence and the short memory of humans lead to surprise at the ferocity of nature, and tragedies ensue that education, foresight, and planning might have forestalled. Large, destructive fires will occur again in the future, and their probability may be increasing with the warming climate and expanding human footprint. Preparedness requires that we understand the causes and the nature of wildfire in the region, and how human communities and infrastructure might better interact with the ecology of fire.

The Living with Fire symposium will bring together experts in fire ecology and management, community planning, fire safety and preparedness, and global change. The intended audience includes property owners, the general public, policy makers, planners, managers, scientists, educators, and any others who are interested in the intersection of human communities and fire. The event is sponsored by a coalition of educational, fire and resource management, and extension organizations.

May 7-8 will be devoted to presentations by subject experts, with question-and-answer sessions and ample opportunity for audience participation during structured discussions.

Agenda Topics
Day 1
Setting the Stage: Fire Ecology and Fire History of the Central and North Coast Ranges
Understanding the October 2017 Fires
Fire and Humans

 Day 2
What does the future hold?
The wildland urban interface: fire and your home
Landuse and community planning
Landscape management, collaboration, education: learning to live with fire


May 9 will feature a series of field trips to fire-affected communities and landscapes in Sonoma and Napa Counties. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. View Field Trip Registration Page > 


Questions? Contact the event organizers below.

Rebecca Wayman
Associate Specialist (Forest and Fire Ecology)
Dept. of Environmental Science and Policy
University of California, Davis
mobile: 530-401-0471

Stacey Sargent Frederick
Program Coordinator
California Fire Science Consortium
Cell: (541) 224-3188
Office: (510) 642-4934 

Hugh D Safford, PhD
Regional Ecologist, Forest Service
Pacific Southwest Region
Tel: 707-562-8934
Cell: 707-980-8512

A special thanks to all our sponsors and partners in this event!