Hopland Research and Extension Center
University of California
Hopland Research and Extension Center

Postfire Research at HREC

Postfire Research Opportunities Webinar 2018

Opportunities for Postfire Research at HREC Webinar

On September 7, 2018 HREC hosted a webinar for researchers interested in postfire opportunities on site. Above you will find links to the recorded webinar, below you will find resources mentioned in the webinar.

HREC plant list

HREC bird list

HREC vertebrate list

HREC Annotated bibliography 1951-2000

HREC Fire Related Publications

HREC iNaturalist project showing species observed by citizen scientists

Nature's Notebook phenology data on native 30 native plant species for the last 2 years (In the visualization tool set the filter to "Hopland Research and Extension Center" for "partners" to access HREC site data)

360 drone images of burned areas

The River Fire at Hopland REC

The River Fire

As part of the Mendocino Complex fire, the River Fire burned through HREC on the evening of July 27 and into July 28.  Approximately 3,000 acres of our center burned in this fire. Due to the concentrated efforts of Center staff and Cal Fire crews, all of our employees, residents, sheep, livestock dogs, offices and residences were saved.  Attached please find the burn map of our property.  All of the black area to the north was burned and the dark red patches were areas of vegetation that remained unburned. The fire intensity varied greatly as did oak survival. You will see two smaller burned areas in the southern part of the property that were prescribed burns performed in June of this year.

Research Opportunities

While this was a blow to current research, pastures, and water infrastructure, we also see this as a rare and time-sensitive opportunity.  Due to extensive historical data sets and ongoing research projects, coupled with a variety of grazed and ungrazed pastures, and prescribed burn plots for comparison with wildfire, there is enormous potential for pre- and post-fire studies in the fields of:

  • Watersheds and hydrology; fire science; plant science; soil science; entomology and parasitology; wildlife and wildlife ecology; rangeland management; grazing practices as fire suppression…..

To support this research, HREC offers:

  • A well maintained network of roads that accesses almost all parts of the property, vehicles to use.
  • A fully equipped shop staffed by employees skilled in fabrication and repair of research equipment
    • Electrical, wood working, welding and metal fabrication, mechanical
  • Skilled staff trained in field work techniques, with long histories of successful research support
  • Fiber optic internet with Wi-Fi access throughout headquarters, strong cell service in most areas
  • A vault of raw data, photos, and final papers from research conducted at HREC.
  • Warehouses for storing equipment, a variety of accommodations from dorms to private houses
  • Wet and dry lab space (undergoing renovation during fall 2018, available spring 2019)
  • Lysimeter with available watering system, electrical connections, and fiber optic access point
  • A research flock of sheep consisting of just under 500 breeding ewes, with all needed facilities and RFID tracking
  • Fenced pastures and biological reserve areas for different treatment plots and controls
  • A fully equipped conference facility with A/V equipment and fiber optic connections

Next Steps

For more information on fire related studies conducted at HREC, click here:  HREC Fire Related Publications


Postfire Pictures

These pictures and 360 drone footage give some sense of the impact to our site, various management techniques employed at HREC including prescribed burns and grazing.

Click here for 360 °  Drone footage from 11 points across the site

Fire image looking North from headquarters 07/27/18

Fire image looking from lysimeter 072718

Grazed pasture postfire

Grazed pasture postfire

 West from Ken's Pond

West from Kens Pond small

West from Riley Ridge
West from Riley Ridge small




Burn map of Hopland REC

The red is existing vegetation. Many of the oaks did not burn. Brighter red indicates untouched green foliage, fainter red indicates some damage. Black areas are burnt grasslands, gray areas are primarily  chaparral or chamise.  The two separate black areas are where we did prescribed burns this June. The white spots are ash indicating where a tree did burn. Thanks to Shane Feirer of iGIS for putting this together.



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