Shasta Trinity National Forest Prepares to Initiate Winter Prescribed Burns
The Shasta-Trinity National Forest plans to initiate prescribed fire operations this fall and over the winter, as weather patterns shift to cooler temperatures and wetter conditions.
Prescribed fire is a tool that is used to mimic the natural role of fire in the environment and to create healthy & resilient forests, decreasing vegetation density and surface fuels that can contribute to fire behavior that can present risks to life, property, and natural resources. Managing fire on the landscape promotes naturally occurring processes that native plants and animals rely upon. It affords the opportunity for new growth to take place by removing dead and dying vegetation.
“Prescribed fire is an important tool used to meet management objectives for ecological restoration, creating habitat for plants and animals and reducing unwanted fuel loading,” said Forest Fire Management Officer, Todd Mack. “Forest employees take prescribed fire very seriously, thus conditions must meet certain criteria, including weather and vegetative factors before implementing a prescribed fire.”
As part of a forest-wide prescribed burn program, forest fire management staff will be diligent in monitoring local weather and drought conditions for those conditions most favorable to meet prescribed burning objectives. Weather is an essential factor in the planning and implementation of prescribed fires. Wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity, and measurable moisture in vegetation are all taken into consideration, especially during a drought, prior to initiating any burning activities. The current drought conditions across Northern California may impact the timing and ability to accomplish the prescribed fire this fall. Over the next several months the public may see or smell smoke in various parts of the forest from prescribed fire activities. These projects may have some short-term impacts on air quality levels; however, the Forest Service will comply with all Local, State and Federal air quality regulations and coordination with local air quality regulators will take place.
Areas, where prescribed fire is planned, includes:
- Mt. Shasta and McCloud areas: Elk Underburn prescribed fire and pile burning on Gateway II, Black Fox, Espeknob, Harris, Bundoora, Azalea, Frosty, Ash, and Wash.
- Shasta Lake area: Green Mountain and Lakehead prescribed burning and pile burning on Bully Hill, Sugarloaf, Lakeshore, Northwoods, Fawn Repair, Salt Repair, Hirz, and Antlers.
- Weaverville and Big Bar area: WCF Five-7, WCF Moon Lee 1, Taylor 1, Ballpark Maintenance, WCF Five-8, WCF East Weaver 6,8,11,12, WCF East Weaver 1,4 and Old Granite prescribed burning and pile burning on TPFHRS Pattison (Units 1,2,4,5), TPFHRS II Underwood (Units 5&6), TPFHRS II Denny Road (Units 2,3,4,5,7,8), TPFHRS II Clark Creek (Units 1,2,3), Papoose, WCF Oregon, WCF Moon Lee 2, WCF Highway Bend, Carr/Delta County Road 106, Carr/Delta Slate Mountain, Carr/Delta Cedar Creek, WCF Glennison, Carr/Delta Onion, Carr/Delta Halls, Lookout, Damnation, Dog Creek, Airport Road Piles, Garden Gulch Piles, Howe Ditch Trail, Long Canyon, WCF Low Gap
- Hayfork, Hyampom, Platina, and Trinity Pines: Harrison Gulch Compound prescribed burn and pile burning for Peak, Hyampom, Trough, Goods, Gemmill Timber Sale, and scattered piles along Hyampom Road.
Specific project location information is available online at Shasta-Trinity National Forest – Home (usda.gov). Specific prescribed fire announcements will be placed at local Forest Service District Offices, forest website, and additional press releases.