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Forest Service begins controlled burns

Staff reports

As the weather cools and the rain and snow arrives, the U.S. Forest Service has again started its prescribed burning program.

“We are planning to initiate prescribed burns throughout the forest to reduce the threat of catastrophic fire,” said Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, fire management officer.

In the Truckee District of the Tahoe National Forest, burns are planned in the vicinity of the three reservoirs near Sagehen road and on the ridges above Highway 89 south.

Approximately 1,000 acres could be burned this fall or next spring. Some of the area has been thinned, and some areas have been burned in prior years.

Prescribed fire can play a crucial role in removing some of the heavy forest debris which fuels wildfire.

“By burning accumulated debris and some vegetation in the fall of spring, we have the ecosystem benefits of fire without the massive risk of wildfires during the summer,” added Pincha-Tulley.

Burns can only be ignited when the winds are low. There also has to be enough moisture in the vegetation for a safe burn, but not so much moisture that the wet vegetation can’t sustain the fire.

“We would hope that anyone that needs to be notified of the burn due to potential smoke impacts would contact us ahead of time so that we can notify them when the burn day is set,” Pincha-Tulley said.

For more information on the fuel reduction efforts in each of the Ranger Districts in the Tahoe National Forest, contact the Truckee Ranger Station at (530) 587-3558.


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