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Contact: Darlene M. Koontz, Superintendent, 530-595-4444 x5101
Lassen Volcanic National Park plans to burn the Crescent Prescribed Fire Project as early as Sunday, October 11, 2009. Ignition operations should require two days. The entire project consists of three units totaling 1,847 acres. Park fire crews completed burning 551 acres last July after an unusual wet and cool spell in June. Fire management staff plans to burn the remaining 1,296 acres. "The Crescent Prescribed Fire Project will require future periodic controlled burns to mimic natural fire cycles," states Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz." "These prescribed fire projects are extremely important for maintaining forest health and habitat diversity. Much of the Park evolved with frequent natural fires and consequently these areas need to be re-treated with prescribed fires. We know that some pine forests experienced natural lightning fires as often as every 12 to 25 years." she added.
The Crescent Prescribed Fire is the first controlled burn of several required in the area to be effective. The unit lies between Chaos Crags and Manzanita Creek within an area which historically experienced large fire activity prior to 1918. The absence of fire in this fire adaptive ecosystem during the last 90 years has created a heavy concentration of fuels.
The second prescribed fire project, the Hole Prescribed Fire, was initially burned in November 2002. The project is divided into two units, 269 and 258 acres respectively. The project is located just northwest of Hat Creek and south of Raker Peak. "The first time we burned this area much of the ignition operation occurred at night and required both aerial and ground ignition operations. This re-entry will only require a ground ignition operation, a much less complex operation, to reach our resource objectives." stated Superintendent Darlene Koontz.
The third project, the GR II prescribed fire located just east of the Hole Prescribed Fire will help strengthen and protect the northern boundary of the park. This 1300 acre prescribed fire was initially treated on November 1, 2006. Consumption of the total dead fuel load within the unit was approximately 25-30%. As a first entry burn, this was successful. However to attain park objectives more than one prescribed burn will need to be implemented.
For more information, please contact the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center at (530) 595-4480 daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/lavo and click on fire management information through the "management" link.