April 21, 2016
Contact: Mike Theune, Fire Communication and Education Specialist
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. April 21, 2016– Today, the Fire and Fuels Management Program announce the planned prescribed fire and mechanical treatments for 2016. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks work to protect ecosystems and communities through effective and safe fire and fuels management. This important work is accomplished by restoring fire's natural role in the environment and by reducing hazardous fuels.
2015 was a very active fire year for the parks and surrounding area. A testament to the program is demonstrated success of defensible space and previous years of prescribed burns as observed during the Rough Fire. It is estimated that $400 million in facility assets were saved because of previous fuels treatments.
"We observed that past prescribed fire and fuel treatments were crucial to protecting and saving assets during the 2015 Rough Fire. By continuing this work, we can set ourselves up for continued success,” said David Allen, Fire Management Officer for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Each year, managers prepare an Annual Fuels Treatment Plan that lists all the approved prescribed burns and mechanical fuel reduction projects that will help the parks accomplish goals. In all, there are eleven planned projects totaling over 2,661 acres. Of which, 81 acres will be focused on mechanical thinning treatments to reduce hazardous fuel build up around Wilsonia and the Lodgepole / Wuksachi areas.
The earliest projects planned are for three different prescribed burns scheduled for mid-May and into June. Included in this, is the largest planned prescribed fire, the 769 acre Goliath unit located in the Redwood Mountain Grove of giant sequoias. In total, nine prescribed burns are planned with the last couple scheduled for November.
A full list of the planned projects can be seen by visiting https://go.nps.gov/sekifire and selecting the Planned Projects tab under the Fuels Management heading on the navigation menu.
If you are visiting the parks, be aware that fire and smoke can be present at any time. Since the execution of burns depends on air quality, local fire activity, fuel moisture, and weather, the times listed here are estimates only.