PLACERVILLE, Calif. April 4, 2018 – The Eldorado National Forest will begin implementing the Power Fire Fuels Maintenance project on April 4. Units 4 and 6, approximately 1,350 acres, will be prescribed burned this week ahead of the incoming storm. These units are south of Highway 88 between Bear River Reservoir and the Mokelumne River in the 2004 Power Fire burn scar. This project is part of a Pacific Southwest Research Station study by Malcom North, a Research Ecologist, on when to put fire back into a burned area. The units are focused in areas that only burned at low or moderate intensity during the 16,000 acre Power Fire.
Spring brings cooler temperatures and precipitation, which favors prescribed burning. Each prescribed fire operation follows a prescribed fire burn plan, which considers temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the dispersal of smoke. This information is used to decide when and where to burn. This project is targeting primarily the bear clover in the burn scar which is a light fuel that dries out sooner and burns quickly. The heavier fuels, such as logs, will be too wet to burn. The units are surrounded either by snow or roads and the fuels next to the prepared fire lines have been pre-treated to minimize risk.
Smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may continue for several days after an ignition depending on the project size and environmental conditions. Smoke typically settles into the valleys in the evening and lifts in the morning. We coordinate with state and local county air pollution control districts and monitor weather conditions closely prior to prescribed fire ignition. Crews also conduct test burns before igniting a larger area, to verify how effectively fuels are consumed and how smoke will travel.
Prescribed burning project information and maps are available online on the forest website at Follow us on Twitter @EldoradoNF for updates. For questions about this project, call the Amador Ranger District at (209) 295-5900. If you have health concerns contact: Teresa Riesenhuber at or (530) 621-5223 for more information regarding smoke.