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Lassen Volcanic National Park Plans to Ignite 100 acres of the Stonehenge Prescribed Fire Project

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Date: November 8, 2007
Contact: Scott Issacson, 530-595-4444 x5162

The National Park Service, with assistance from the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, plans to ignite a 100 acre portion of the Stonehenge unit on Thursday, November 8, depending on weather conditions. Burning operations should take one day and crews will hold and monitor the fire until it is completely out.

Planning and implementation of the larger Stonehenge Project initially began in 1999. Because of the complexity and the specific conditions required for burning the entire Stonehenge unit, opportunities for ignition have been limited. Lassen Volcanic National Park Fire Management staff has elected to ignite a smaller segment of the Stonehenge unit to secure the southeast boundary which will facilitate future project treatments. The burn unit is located approximately 1 mile southeast of the Manzanita Lake Campground.

Superintendent Darlene Koontz stated, “The national policy of using fire as a tool will help decrease risks to life, property and protect natural and cultural resources. The results of the prescribed fire will leave a mosaic of burned areas throughout the unit which mimics natural fire disturbance, creates open spaces, and encourages new growth.”

Managing air quality and smoke is critical to a successful project. During the prescribed burn, fire managers are required to coordinate daily with the Shasta Air Quality Management District to lessen smoke impacts on visitors and local communities. Every effort is made to minimize smoke impacts created by the fire, and allow for desired smoke dispersion. Smoke will be visible to the local communities but should be transported to the east and northeast of the project site due to a predicted weather shift beginning on Thursday night through the weekend.

For more information, please contact the Park at (530) 595-4444, extension 5162, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, except holidays.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

reddish color microscopic snow alage

The reddish color sometimes observed on top of snow at Lassen Volcanic NP snow is a living organism called snow algae. When snow begins to thaw, these microscopic organisms spring to life. They function as a primary food source and are being studied for their cancer-fighting properties.