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Fire Crews at Lassen Volcanic National Park Help Maintain Healthy Forests.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is planning to conduct two Prescribed Burns. The first project is the 258-acre Butte Lake Prescribed Burn located in the northeast section of the park, east of Butte Creek to the park and U.S Forest Service boundary. This burn project will remove ladder fuels, open the forest canopy to allow more sunlight to penetrate to the forest floor, and prepare a nutrient rich seed bed to help new pines grow. The area contains mature stands of Jeffrey and Ponderosa Pine which require frequent low intensity fires to stay healthy. Thick bark on the larger, mature pines helps them survive these fires.
The second project is the 550-acre Hole Prescribed Burn, which is located northeast of Raker Peak in the northwest section of the park. Historically fire frequently burned through this area and prevented the unnatural buildup of surface fuel. In the absence of these fires, excessive fuel loadings have developed which is a major contributing factor to catastrophic wildfires. “Fire used as a tool will help decrease risks to life, property and resources and will help perpetuate the natural resource values for which Lassen Volcanic National Park was established,” said Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz. “Completion of these projects is also necessary to ensure protection of private in-holding land along Hat Creek and developments in the Butte Lake area,” added Superintendent Koontz.
Fire crews also plan to ignite numerous burn piles throughout the park totaling approximately 160 acres. These piles consist of hazardous fuels removed within developed areas and along future prescribed fire boundaries. Piles are located in the areas of Manzanita Lake, Raker Peak and Warner Valley. Pile burning is planned to begin when conditions allow and continue until snow depth prevents access.
Constructing burn piles for a safe and complete burn is a bit of an art. The piles are carefully constructed so the finer fuels in the interior will burn first and carry fire to the larger limbs on the exterior and promote complete consumption.
For more information, please contact the park at 530/595-4480 daily except holidays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or log on to the park website at www.nps.lavo.gov and choose fire management.