Truckee & Sierraville Ranger Districts to Begin Spring Prescribed Fire Operations

Truckee and Sierraville, Calif. May 14, 2018 – The Tahoe National Forest’s Truckee and Sierraville Ranger Districts will conduct prescribed fire operations this spring to reduce hazardous fuels and facilitate ecological restoration.

The Truckee Ranger District plans to implement up to 500 acres of understory burning near Prosser Hill and Klondike Flats on the West side of Hwy 89, north of Truckee.

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The Sierraville Ranger District plans to implement up to an additional 500 acres of understory burning across the district. Potential areas include: Little Truckee Summit along Hwy. 89 and Sierra Co. Rd 451 (Cottonwood Road); northwest of the Independence Lake area along the Forest Service 07-10 Road; adjacent to the Lewis Mill Guard Station along Sierra Co. Rd 860 (Smithneck Road).

These planned, prescribed fires include low-to-moderate intensity understory burns of forest litter and vegetation on the forest floor. The goals are to reduce the potential severity of future wildfires and to provide added protection for communities in the Wildland Urban Interface. In addition, prescribed fire treatments promote a diverse and more resilient forest and improve wildlife habitat.

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 weather, number of personnel, and opportunities to minimize smoke impacts.

Smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may continue for several days after initiation. Smoke may settle in low-lying areas at night and morning but may disperse during daytime warming. All prescribed fires are monitored closely for smoke dispersal and, if necessary, action is taken to mitigate concerns as they arise. Forest Service fuels management personnel work closely with the California Air Resources Board and the local air quality management districts to minimize smoke impacts to communities.

“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,” said Linda Ferguson, District Fuels Management Officer. “Last summer’s wildfires are a reminder of the importance of fuels reduction and that smoke produced during a prescribed fire is much less intense, and of shorter duration, than that of a wildfire. A moderate amount of smoke now could prevent a lot of smoke later.”

For more information, or to receive prescribed fire notifications via e-mail, call or email the following contacts: Truckee RD- Linda Ferguson, District Fuels Specialist, at (530) 587-3558 or lmferguson@fs.fed.us; Sierraville RD- Ruby Burks, District Fuels Specialist, at (530) 994-3401 or rubyburks@fs.fed.us .

For more information about the Tahoe National Forest, go to www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe. Join the conversation by following us on Twitter at twitter.com/Tahoe_NF and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TahoeNF.