September 23, 2016
Contact: Mike Theune
Contact: Rebecca Paterson
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. September 23, 2016 – As temperatures drop and the season changes, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are preparing to perform three prescribed burns during the fall of 2016.
The start dates for the prescribed burns are dependent upon weather and fuel moisture conditions, along with staffing availability, with specific dates to be announced in subsequent news releases. The list of the projects below is in no particular order. The three planned projects are as follows:
The Sequoia Creek Prescribed Burn will be located north of Highway 180, between the Big Stump Entrance to Kings Canyon National Park and Wilsonia Village. The planned acreage for the project is 264 acres, 55 acres of which are part of Sequoia National Forest. Smoke impacts can be expected in the Grant Grove and Wilsonia areas during the day, and in the Sequoia Lake area at night. A portion of the South Boundary Trail and the Hitchcock Meadow Trail will close for the duration of the burn. Other trails in Grant Grove will remain open.
The Cedar East Prescribed Burn will be located along the Highway 180 corridor in Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon National Park. The planned acreage for the project is 584 acres. This prescribed burn is projected to take place in late October or early November, after Highway 180, the road to Cedar Grove, is closed for the season.
The Deadwood Prescribed Burn will be located on the south side of the Mineral King Road, near Atwell Campground in Sequoia National Park. The planned acreage for the project is 278 acres. This prescribed burn is projected to take place in late October or early November, after the Mineral King Road is closed for the season.
The three projects involve several different fuel types, and most sections are areas that have been previously treated with prescribed burning. Prescribed burning reduces fuel loads in the forest, restoring more natural conditions, improving the resistance of the remaining vegetation to drought, and reducing the risk of wildfire.
David Allen, Fire Management Officer for the parks, explains, “We return to areas where we have done prescribed burns in the past to maintain healthy forest conditions. Not doing prescribed burns does not reduce risk, but can actually increase it, because the vegetation will be denser and burn hotter in a wildfire situation. Prescribing burning is critical to protecting our parks and infrastructure.”
Further news releases with more specific and detailed information will be issued as dates are finalized for these projects. For information on these prescribed burns and other fires within the parks’ boundaries, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/unit/797/.
About Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ Fire Management Program
For over forty years, our mission has been to use the full range of options and strategies available to manage fire in the parks. This includes protecting park resources, employees, and the public from unwanted fire; building and maintaining fire resilient ecosystems; reducing the threat to local communities from wildfires emanating from the parks or adjacent lands; and recruiting, training, and retaining a professional fire management workforce.