Return from the Wildfires

Last October one of the worst wildfires in California’s history ripped through Sonoma and Napa Valley, burning some…

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Last October one of the worst wildfires in California’s history ripped through Sonoma and Napa Valley, burning some of the area’s precious open space and state and regional parks. Yet along with the New Year comes new growth, new greenery, basically a renewed beauty all across wine country. See for yourself on one of the free Fire Recovery guided hikes led by the good folks at Sonoma Ecology Center. Check their calendar for upcoming dates and get registered (these popular hikes book up!).

Hiking at various locations in Sonoma Valley, enjoy the trails and mountain-to-lake scenery while discovering how the land behaves after fires. Turns out, it behaves pretty well! Redwoods display their usual resiliency, madrones with singed leaves are resprouting new ones, and burned land is already starting to see a resurgence of grasses coming up strong as wildflowers bloom anew thanks to carbon adding nutrients to the soil (currently you’re likely to see hounds tongue and milkmaids making their marks on trailside hills). Learn which dead and dying trees are not deemed hazardous and are still valuable habitat for birds and other animals. If “hope springs eternal,” then Sonoma County is poetry in motion.

NEXT FIRE RECOVER WALK DATE: The next Fire Recovery Walk is Saturday, February 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sonoma Valley Regional Park. There’s no cost to hike, though donations to the Sonoma Valley Ecological Fire Relief Fund are gratefully accepted. Get tickets (free) for a 2018 Fire Recovery Walk with the Sonoma Ecology Center.

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