BLM planning prescribed fires near north Eagle Lake, Horse Lake

Fire and fuels management crews from the Bureau of Land Management will conduct prescribed fire projects to reduce hazardous fuels and improve wildlife habitat near Eagle Lake and Horse Lake in Lassen County, when weather permits during the fall and winter months.

“We will conduct these projects in strict conformance with our burn plans, and only when weather allows for safe and successful burning,” said Emily Ryan, manager of the BLM’s Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville.

Burning teams will work on the Bald Understory Project, about a mile from the Stones-Bengard community at Eagle Lake, on allowable days from mid-October through December. This carefully managed broadcast fire will be conducted in units ranging from 20 acres to 400 acres, reducing brush and small trees in pine stands, improving the health of the timber stand.

Crews will also be working along Horse Lake Road about 15 miles north of Susanville, burning piles of small junipers and tree limbs that were stacked during juniper reduction projects to improve habitat for mule deer, pronghorn and sage grouse.

The projects will reduce understory and hazardous fuels and are designed to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire which will provide protection for the community and improve firefighter safety in the event of a wildfire. Smoke from these burns will be visible to residents at the north shore of Eagle Lake and the Willow Creek Valley, and to motorists on State Route 139.

Projects such as these are part of the BLM’s fuels management program across the West that conducts a wide variety of active management vegetation treatments using mechanical, biological, and chemical tools, and prescribed fire. The program includes creating fuel breaks to protect resources and provide safe access for firefighters, reducing fuel loads by removing trees, shrubs, pinon-juniper and invasive species, reducing fire risk near communities and infrastructure, targeted grazing, and using herbicide plus seeding to restore rangelands and break the fire-cheatgrass cycle.

For more information, call the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office at 257-0456.