Wednesday, 10 May 2017
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EUREKA, California, May 8, 2017 – With the transition to more spring-like weather, suitable prescribed fire conditions are expected to develop in late May through June that will allow for the safe and effective use of prescribed fire on the Six Rivers National Forest.

The goals of the forest’s prescribed fire program are to reduce the severity of potential future wildfires and provide added protection for communities in the wildland urban interface (WUI). In addition, prescribed fire helps to promote a diverse and more resilient forest and improve wildlife habitat for wildlife.

“Fire has been a natural part of this forest’s ecosystem for a very long time. Of course, we’ve always had wildfires ignited by lightning, but Native American tribes also used fire as a tool to maintain desired forest conditions,” said James Courtright, deputy interagency fire chief for the forest and Redwood National Park. “In the past, these low-intensity fires kept the forest free from build-up of needles, thick brush, and dead and down trees. The result created a mosaic vegetation pattern that benefited forest health and wildlife distribution.”

Prior to any burning, the forest works with the National Weather Service and the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (Del Norte, Humboldt and Trinity counties) and the Northeast Air Alliance (Siskiyou County) to ensure compliance with state and federal burning regulations.

Smith River NRA-Gasquet District – 105 acres

Understory burns:

  • 40 acres in the Big Flat Project, located near the community of Big Flat.

Pile burning:

  • 16 acres within the Gordon Hill Project; and
  • 49 acres within the Big Flat Project.

Smoke may be visible from the town of Gasquet on Highway 199, South Fork Road, and French Hill Road, but should not affect travel on Highway 199.

Orleans/Ukonom Ranger District – 414 acres

Understory burns:

  • 14 acres as part of the Roots and Shoots Cultural Burn, in Camp 3 Units 12A and 12B, located approximately 2.5 miles up Forest Service Road 15N17/Camp 3 Road; and
  • 400 acres within the Hazel project area, approximately 5 miles southwest of Orleans, up Forest Service Road 10N13.

Burning could start as early as May 9, 2017. Smoke may be visible from Highway 96 and may be visible from various county roads.

Mad River Ranger District – 150 acres

Understory burning:

  • 15 acres in the Van Duzen Vegetation Management Project area, located between Van Duzen Road and the Mad Ridge Fuelbreak, on Mad River Rock Road; and
  • 60 acres south of Ruth Lake, within the Beaverslide Timber Sale and Fuel Treatment Project. on Forest Service Road 27N34.

Pile burning:

  • 25 acres in the Little Gulch Timber Sale area, south of Ruth, on Cobb Ridge, on Forest Service Roads 27N33 and 27N38;
  • 25 acres in the Lost Creek Timber Sale area, south of Ruth, in the Jones Ridge area, on Forest Service Road 26N37B; and
  • 25 acres within administrative sites such as the Mad River, Ruth and Zenia compounds, and developed/undeveloped campgrounds in the Ruth Lake, Mad River and Zenia area.

Smoke may be visible from State Highway 36, and the communities of Mad River, Hettenshaw Valley, Kettenpom, Zenia, and Ruth, but will not affect any major travel routes.

No spring burning is anticipated for the Lower Trinity Ranger District.

For more information, contact Deputy Interagency Fire Chief James Courtright at (707) 441-3575 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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