Bay Area/ San Jose/ Parks & Nature
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Published on March 04, 2024
Controlled Pile Burns at Stanford's Jasper Ridge to Bolster Wildfire Defense and Spark Scientific InquirySource: City of Menlo Park

Stanford University's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, often shortened to the catchy JR'O'O, is set to kindle flames with a pile burning event through March 4-8. If you see smoke wafting from the area, keep your phones in your pockets. This isn't an S.O.S. but a thoughtful fire strategy, as Menlo Park's latest press release confirmed.

Pile burning isn't your backyard bonfire. It's a smart move against the very real California wildfire threat, trimming down the "fuel load" without sending the locals into a frenzy. Yes, there will be smoke, but no need for alarm or bombarding 911 with calls, according to Menlo Park's announcement.

While we're on the topic of good fire, Stanford's not just playing with matches for kicks. This controlled burn is the culmination of a project that began in October 2023, with crews lopping off the deadwood to buck the trend of horrific wildfires and foster landscape health, Stanford News reports.

But wait, there's a science angle too. The university's brainy bunch hopes to grab lessons on wildfire management, transforming JR'O'O into a hotbed of research - and a model for cultural burning practices. Pile burning here is fashioned to be safe, orchestrated with local fire agencies, and led by certified specialists. The technique considers a barrage of factors, from wind to the intricacies of smoke dispersion, Stanford News details.