Mineral Prescribed Burn
Lassen Volcanic National Park News Release
May 7, 2008
For Immediate Release
Darlene M. Koontz
(530) 595-4444, ext. 5101
Lassen Volcanic National Park Ready to Ignite Prescribed Burn in Mineral
Lassen Volcanic National Park staff plan to ignite a 50 acre prescribed fire in the park’s Headquarters area, located at the western edge of the community of Mineral along State
Highway 36. Ignition will begin on Thursday, May 8th and continue on Friday, May 9th.
The project is divided into seven separate units. Due to predicted winds, the units along the western boundary will be ignited on Thursday and the eastern units will be ignited on Friday. The northeasterly winds predicted for Thursday should carry the smoke down Battle Creek Canyon away from the residential area. The southwesterly winds on Friday should push the smoke to the north of the park residential area and Mineral. “Smoke management is always a concern during these prescribed fire projects,” said Superintendent Darlene Koontz. “Fire staff had to change their sequence of firing these seven units to mitigate the smoke for park residents and the community of Mineral.”
The goal of the project is to break up the continuity of the fuels which have accumulated unnaturally with the absence of fire. Historically, fire burned regularly in these vegetation communities every 5-20 years. Reintroduction of fire and subsequent maintenance treatments of this area will help mimic historic and natural fire activity to preserve this vegetation community and protect the historic administration area. Approximately 95% of the project area has received manual thinning from below in recent years to help produce more fire resistant and resilient fuel profiles.
Lassen Volcanic National Park uses prescribed fire, where appropriate, for the restoration of fire-dependent ecosystems and for species-specific resource management goals. Prescribed fire projects are conducted in a manner consistent with park and prescribed fire plans. “The Mineral project is the first of several prescribed fires planned for 2008. I look forward to working with the surrounding communities as we manage fire for natural resource benefits and public safety,” added Superintendent Darlene Koontz.
For more information, please contact the park at 530/595-4444 Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Did You Know?
The 29 mile Main Park Road was constructed between 1925 and 1931, just 10 years after Lassen Peak erupted. Near Lassen Peak the road reaches 8512 feet, making it the highest road in the Cascade Mountains. It is not unusual for 40 feet of snow to accumulate on the road near Lake Helen.