Fire Ecology Class - 3

–Teaching Fire Ecology Through Zines 3
scicomm portfolio
nature journal
fire ecology
data journalism
fire runner

RJ Cody Markelz


May 19, 2023

Here is the second of the three zines I made for teaching wildfire science. This zine focused on the recent fire history of the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve where the class was held.

Blue Oak Ranch History

A map of where Blue Oak Ranch Reserve is located in the state and the shape outline of it’s border.

Topology of Blue Oak Ranch Reserve

The shape of the landscape helps define what plants can grow and provide the fuel load for fires. The topology of the landscape also heavily influences how fire spreads once started. As an example, steep slopes provide easier routes for fire to burn up slope compared to flat ground.

Blue Oak Ranch plant composition

Blue Oak Ranch Reserve plant composition of open grassland and denser oak woodland.

fire history in california

Taking a state-wide perspective of fire history in the state of California.

controlled burns california

Examining the subset of fires across the state of California were purposefully started for controlled burning.

california fire

A visualization of the controlled burns for parts of Blue Oak Ranch Reserve.

SCU lightning complex mapping

The 2020 SCU lightning complex fire burned half of the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve. Do you notice anything about the outline of the fire running along the middle of the reserve? Are there any topological features that would make this occur in a natural fire and also provide a natural boundary during a controlled burn?

zooming out to look at how large the SCU complex was

Zooming back out to the state fire map you can see how large the 2020 SCU complex fire was. Less visible are the blue outlines of all of the reserves that make up the University of California Natural Reserve System.