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Contact: Deanna Dulen, Devils Postpile National Monument, 760-924-5505
Contact: Deb Schweizer, Inyo National Forest, 760-873-2427
Weather and air quality conditions permitting, Devils Postpile National Monument and Inyo National Forest are planning pile burning in the Devils Postpile/Reds Meadow area.The burn could begin as early as the week of December 16, and/or when conditions permit in January 2014.
The project is located on both the Inyo National Forest and at Devils Postpile National Monument near Reds Meadow. Both areas are outside of the designated wilderness.The pile burning is expected to last one to six days. It is expected that approximately 300 acres will be treated. Of those, 59 acres will be within Devils Postpile National Monument and the remaining acres will be treated on the Inyo National Forest.
This project is being conducted in order to reduce fuel loads following the Devils Windstorm of 2011. During that storm, thousands of trees in the Reds Meadow Valley were blown down, greatly increasing the amount of hazardous fuels. In 2012 and 2013, fire crews thinned and piled the slash from downed trees in order to reduce fire risk. The piles are burned when adequate snow cover exists to prevent the fire from spreading and to reduce burn intensity.
The objectives of the burn are to reduce fuels and fire risk, particularly in developed areas and along roads and to encourage ecological diversity, and improve ecosystem resilience. Fire crews from the Inyo National Forest are leading the project.
Smoke may be visible from Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Minaret Vista, and the Thousand Island Lakes Area. Morning inversion patterns may hold smoke in the Reds Meadow Valley. The timing of this project takes advantage of safe burning conditions and limited visitation to the Red Meadow Valley. However, residents or recreationalists who are smoke sensitive should avoid physical exertion when smoke is present.