May 9, 2017 - The Sierraville Ranger District on Tahoe National Forest is preparing for the spring prescribed burn season which may begin in the next couple weeks as conditions are quickly becoming favorable. Prescribed fire is only implemented when conditions are favorable for meeting objectives and minimizing negative impacts. We are currently monitoring temperature, humidity, winds, and fuel moisture conditions to evaluate when our prescribed burns will be conducted. Smoke management plans developed in accordance with California Air Resources Board regulations are in place, and we will be working with the local air quality districts to minimize impacts to local communities.
Prescribed fire projects are designed to reduce accumulated fuels to decrease the potential severity and intensity of future wildfires, and provide added protection to communities within the wildland urban interface. Other project goals include: improving the resilience, or survivability, of the forest should a fire occur; improving ecosystem health and diversity; and re-creating the ecological benefits from low-intensity fire. The District is currently planning for prescribed fire activities that include first and second entry understory burns and may continue pile burning. Current underburn projects are planned in the Lewis Mill Guard Station/Smithneck Road area and the Little Truckee Summit area.
Smoke will be present in and around the burning, and light smoke is likely to persist in and near burn areas for several days after ignition. Smoke may settle into lower elevations at night and will typically lift out of the area during normal daytime heating. Burn personnel monitor all prescribed fires regularly for burning and smoke-dispersal conditions in order to mitigate concerns as they arise. People who are sensitive to smoke may choose to take precautions to minimize its effects, including staying indoors with windows and doors closed while smoke is in the area. Smoke produced during a prescribed fire is usually less intense and of shorter duration than that of a wildfire.
If you have any questions about our prescribed burn program for this spring please contact the District Fuels Officer, Ruby Burks, at the Sierraville Ranger District Office, (530) 994-3401