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The Madera Tribune

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Prescribed burning under way in hills

Sierra National Forest (SNF) officials continue their spring prescribed burning program within the Bass Lake Ranger District. Using the advantage of favorable weather conditions, extra fire personnel and equipment will be committed to the project until the treatments are extinguished, as burn days permit. Projects will include understory burning in the months of May and early June.


This type of prescribed burn program is designed to protect communities from destructive wildfires by reducing hazardous fuel conditions and by restoring, enhancing and sustaining a healthy forest ecosystem. Through the introduction of fire as a component of ecosystem dynamics, it provides forage and hiding cover for wildlife, and becomes easier to confine and control a wildfire during the summer months.


Burning will take place in the Sugar Pine understory located North of Oakhurst within the Lewis Creek drainage; the Greys Mountain and Cedar Valley understory located northeast of Oakhurst east of Sivels Meadow to Moon Rock and Bass Lake Vista within the Willow Creek drainage.


The SNF coordinates all burning activities with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to time the project with favorable weather conditions and smoke dispersion. Localized smoke impacts may be felt in Oakhurst, Fish Camp, Sugar Pine, Cedar Valley, Bass Lake, Ahwahnee, and North Fork. For regional information about air quality, health effects, and smoke conditions, visit http://www.valleyair.org or http://www.airnow.gov/.


Residents and visitors may see smoke, active fire, and firefighters during the burns, and are asked to drive slowly and carefully as they enjoy the Forest.


For firefighter and public safety, signs will be posted along roadways where burning is taking place. For more information on the prescribed burning, contact Burt Stalter, Bass Lake Ranger District Fuels Specialist, 877-2218 ext. 3108.

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