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EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. — The Bureau of Land Management plans to conduct prescribed fire operations in the ‘Inimim Forest located east of North Columbia in Nevada County. Understory and pile burn operations are scheduled to start this week and may continue periodically through the spring. Timing of the burn operations will depend on weather conditions, air quality, resource availability and onsite observations.  

The Bureau of Land Management wildland fire crews plan to burn piles of tree limbs and brush starting this week on roughly 350 acres in the Inimim Forest, east of North Columbia in Nevada County, depending on weather and air quality conditions. Photo by Julie Martin, BLM.

The public is advised to use caution when encountering firefighters working on the roadways and be prepared to stop for firefighters and emergency vehicles. Smoke may be visible in the Upper Ridge area near the North Columbia and North Bloomfield areas. 

“This treatment is part of the ‘Inimim Forest Restoration Project, a multi-year partnership to improve forest health and resiliency, and reduce hazards that can fuel wildland fire,” said Mother Lode Field Manager Elizabeth Meyer-Shields. “These efforts will protect communities in the wildland-urban interface and improve fire resiliency.”  

Understory burning will consist of approximately 150 acres in the Jackass Flats area and the Shields Camp area. Pile burning units are located in the Jackass Flats, Shields Camp and Tyler Foote Road areas. The burn piles are a result of shaded fuel breaks after crews carefully thinned dense hazardous tree cover and removed underlying brush to improve forest health. The piles consist of brush, chaparral, Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, black oak, madrone and manzanita tree branches. 

The BLM, along with its partners, has an important role to play in reducing the threat of wildland fire on public lands across the United States. The prescribed burn is being done as a joint effort of the BLM, CAL FIRE, California National Guard, North San Juan Fire Department, and the Yuba Watershed Institute. The burn is being closely coordinated with the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District. 

The ‘Inimim Forest is nearly 2,000 acres of BLM-managed public lands intermingled with private land on the San Juan Ridge, a 30-mile-long narrow ridge ranging from about 2,500 to 3,800 feet elevation between the South and Middle Yuba rivers. 

Updates on this prescribed burn will be provided using the #RxBurn by the BLM through its social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on the prescribed fire, please call the Mother Lode Field Office at 916-941-3101 or email the office at BLM_CA_Web_ML@blm.gov.