Ron and Marianne Dreisbach had a near-miss with disaster last fall. The massive North Complex fire, which killed 16 people and destroyed almost 319,000 acres of land in California’s Plumas and Butte Counties in 2020, came within a half-mile of their woodland property, the Grizzly Lodge. Fortunately, the fire never made it any closer to the Dreisbach’s Tree Farm, which is located in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains.
Although there have been fires in their general area before, Marianne Dreisbach admits that this close encounter was scary. But she knew they had at least one thing in their favor. For more than 30 years, years, they’ve been part of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), managing their 540 acres in a way that protects and preserves them. As part of these efforts, they’ve cleared out across of unwanted brush and trees, significantly reducing the risk of out-of-control fires on their property.