Tahoe National Forest announces plans for seasonal prescribed fires
With the onset of cooler, wetter weather, the Tahoe National Forest is preparing for prescribed fires that will occur throughout the fall, winter and spring, as conditions allow. Prescribed fires are an important way to maintain forest health and reduce fuels that could feed future wildfires.
Planned projects include burning piles of stacked vegetation and low to moderate intensity understory burns of vegetation on the forest floor. The primary goals of these projects are to reduce the severity of future wildfires and provide protection for communities in the wildland urban interface. In addition, the prescribed fires will promote a diverse and more resilient forest, as well as improve wildlife habitat.
Prescribed burning projects will be implemented when air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and fuel moisture are in the desired range, or within the “prescription.”
“Prescribed fires and pile burning play a crucial role in reducing the heavy forest vegetation that fuels large wildfires,” said Forest Prescribed Fire and Fuels Officer Jennifer Hinckley.
Forest Service fire managers work closely with air quality management districts to minimize smoke impacts to communities.
“We strive for smoke distribution patterns that will have the least impact on local communities,” said Hinckley. “Prescribed fires result in less smoke for a shorter duration of time than if the area were to burn in a wildfire.”
All four ranger districts on the Tahoe National Forest are planning to implement prescribed fire. While detailed information on prescribed burning projects is available from the districts, some of the planned projects include:
The Yuba River Ranger District will conduct understory burning along Highway 20 just east of White Cloud Campground, as well as pile burning along Madrone Springs Road east of Nevada City. For more information, call 530-288-3231.
The Truckee Ranger District will conduct understory burning east of Stampede Reservoir and on the west side of Highway 89 and Prosser Lakeview/Prosser Heights. For more information, call 530-587-3558.
The American River Ranger District will conduct understory and pile burning at Big Trees picnic area, North Divide, and the American Fire burn area. For more information, call 530-367-2224.
The Sierraville Ranger District will conduct understory burning at Lewis Mill and west of Highway 89 (south of Little Truckee Summit), as well as pile burning in the areas of Loyalton Pines, Sierraville, Calpine, and Sagehen Summit. For more information, call 530-994-3401.
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