In August, an unusual dry lightning event caused over 350 fires across northern California. In Monterey County, the Carmel, River and Dolan fires, required thousands of people to evacuate. The Carmel fire threatened a native plant nursery in Carmel Valley operated by Burleson Consulting Inc., a contractor of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Over seven thousand native plants are being grown and taken care of at the nursery for the Fort Ord Site 39 Habitat Restoration program. Thanks to the valiant, late night efforts by Burleson staff and volunteers, these plants were moved from the nursery to Fort Ord for safekeeping when the evacuation warning was issued. The plants shown in the accompanying photos were grown from seeds or cuttings carefully harvested from sites across the Fort Ord National Monument. They will be planted in winter at several restoration sites within the Impact Area to fulfill the Army’s obligations under the Programmatic Biological Opinion issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and according to the Habitat Restoration Plan.
Many thanks to the firefighters and emergency services personnel for their hard work and dedication to respond to these fires and keep us safe.