Julie Johnson, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
From a distance, wildfire ash almost looks like snow peaking out from stands of barren trees and pockets of green canopy on the ridges and slopes encompassing 8,800 acres of parkland in the Mayacamas Mountains straddling the Sonoma and Napa valleys.
The Glass fire burned through the majority of these treasured preserved lands, moving throughout all of Hood Mountain Regional Park and roughly 90% of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, leaving pockets of green islands within the burn scars.
Stewards of these lands say the next several months will involve urgent work to prevent traumatic erosion to the land, stop large sediment deposits from clogging creeks, and tamping down invasive weeds so that native plants have a chance to grow back and thrive.
Though it could be months before the public is allowed to return to the trails and the stunning panoramic view of the valley from Gunsight Rock, the outlook is far from grim for the flora and creatures adapted to fire.
“It’s not a tragedy when a park burns,” said Melanie Parker, deputy director of Sonoma County Regional Parks.