Over the last few years, the questions coming into the Central Sierra Historical Society and Museum have taken a specific turn.
“People are coming in asking about the trees,” says Lisa Monteiro, the museum’s executive director.
What they’re really asking about how those trees relate to wildfires — for instance, the Ferguson Fire, which burned 96,901 acres over the past month and was just fully contained this week. Or, the Rough Fire, which burned 151,623 acres in 2015.
With that in mind, the museum began working to create an educational forum for its patrons. Through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, it’s presenting a series of workshops to offer the historical perspective and the current challenges of wildfires, including information on the laws affecting fire suppression and management in the forest.
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“These issues are affecting everyone in California,” Monteiro says. “This is not just a community fire forum.”
There will be presentations from experts, followed by a field visit where guests can seen first hand the effects of different burn conditions, examples of fuel build-up and the rehabilitation work that is being done in the area.
The first in the series of workshops is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Saturday at the museum 42642 Tollhouse Rd. in Shaver Lake. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and reservations are required by phone at 559-841-4478.
The museum is planning similar workshops in September and October for policy makers and those who manage natural resources.