700-plus acres of burns planned for Truckee Ranger District | SierraSun.com

700-plus acres of burns planned for Truckee Ranger District

Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee Ranger District will conduct prescribed fires this fall/winter on Tahoe National Forest lands to reduce build-up of hazardous fuels and to move towards restoring forest ecosystems.

Planned projects include low-to-moderate intensity understory burns of vegetation on the forest floor and burning piles of stacked woody material.

The goals of these projects are to reduce the severity of future wildfires and provide added protection for communities in the wildland urban interface.

In addition, prescribed fire will help to promote a diverse and more resilient forest, as well as improve habitat for wildlife.

The U.S. Forest Service is also working to reduce fuels by thinning dense stands of trees and brush using mechanical thinning, mastication, and hand removal of vegetation throughout the Tahoe National Forest.

All prescribed fire projects are conducted in accordance with an approved prescribed fire burn plan. Burn plans describe the specific conditions under which burns will be conducted, including the weather, number of personnel, and opportunities to minimize smoke impacts.

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"We do our best to give as much advance notice as possible before burning, however, some operations may be conducted on short notice," said Linda Ferguson, Truckee District Fuels Management Officer.

THE BURNS

The following is a list of prescribed fire projects planned this fall/winter:

Canyons: 200 acres of understory burning, approximately 1 mile east of Stampede Reservoir.

Prosser Hill: 500 acres of understory burning, approximately 2 miles north of Tahoe Donner and Prosser Lakeview/Prosser Heights and adjacent to Klondike Flats.

Multiple Piled Material Operations: Serene Lakes (10 acres); Hwy 89 North (7 acres); Henness Pass Road north of Stampede Reservoir (10 acres); Donner Camp (1 acre); Sawtooth Ridge/06 Road (2 acres); and Silver Creek Campground (1 acre).

Smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may continue for several days after an ignition depending on the project size. Smoke will settle in low lying areas in the morning and usually lifts out of an area during normal daytime heating.

All prescribed fires are monitored closely for burning and smoke dispersal conditions and, if necessary, action is taken to mitigate concerns as they arise.

"We are sensitive to the impact smoke has on people, especially those with respiratory conditions and allergies and we make every effort to conduct prescribed fire operations during weather patterns that carry smoke away from communities," Ferguson said. "This summer's wildfires are a reminder of the importance of fuels reduction and that smoke produced during a prescribed fire is less intense and of shorter duration than that of a wildfire."

This article was submitted to the Sun by the Truckee Ranger District of the Tahoe National Forest. For information, or to receive prescribed fire notifications via e-mail, call Ferguson at 530-587-3558. For information on prescribed fire, visit fs.usda.gov/tahoe.