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Nevada City, Calif. – Beginning Monday, February 3, 2020, the US Forest Service will conduct widespread prescribed fire activities near Highway 20 and South-East of Scotts Flat reservoir outside of Nevada City.  The prescribed fire activities include pile burn units that are part of the Western County Community Defense Project. In total, these activities will encompasses over 400 acres. Prescribed fire activities are expected to last through Friday, February 7, 2020.

To assist in these prescribed fire activities, additional resources have been ordered to the Tahoe National Forest including a twenty-person firecrew.

Current conditions allow for prescribed fire activities to proceed as determined by approved Burn Plans. Burn Plans describe specific conditions under which prescribed pile burn activities may be conducted. This includes analysis of current fuel conditions, weather, available firefighting personnel, and opportunities for smoke dispersal. 

The goal of these prescribed fire activities is to reduce the severity of future wildfires, provide added protection for local communities, and reestablish natural ecosystems utilizing fire. Reducing hazardous fuels through prescribed fire activities is the most effective and cost-efficient treatment that influences future fire behavior and suppression success, and increases forest health.

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

For more information, or to receive prescribed fire notifications via e-mail, call or email Jecobie Waters, District Fuels Officer at (530) 478-6185 or jecobie.waters@usda.gov.