Good Question

Dec 5, 2012 8:42 PM by John Reger

GQ: Are critters that live in controlled burn areas protected in any way?

Tonight's Good Question came during the controlled burn last month at Montana de Oro State Park.

Ted from the Lazy 2 T ranch wants to know: Are the critters that live in the burn areas protected in any way?

Cal-Fire, State Parks and Fish and Game do an extensive environmental study before any burn, sending biologists, geologists, even archaeologists into the field up to a year before a burn.

They rate possible effects on everything from water quality and soils to plants and animals. The burn can't go forward if it would cause a what they call a "significant effect" in any environmental category. Burns are not allowed where threatened or endangered species live. The pre-burn checklist for Montana de Oro was 70 pages long and answered 89 specific questions.

For critters like deer, squirrels and birds that are not threatened or endangered species, Cal-Fire makes sure to avoid scheduling a burn during nesting seasons or when the animals give birth.

Cal-Fire says most of those animals instinctively do well at getting away from any fire that starts.

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