Fall prescribed burning season on the Plumas National Forest may start this week

Plumas National Forest firefighters are preparing to start fall prescribed burning as soon as this week, conditions permitting.

Plans are for a mix of underburning and pile burning projects on each of the ranger districts as weather and fuel conditions allow.

Projects firefighters hope to have accomplishment on include:

  • Beckwourth Ranger District – Big Hill Underburn in the Sloat and Cromberg area; Lakes Basin Piles; Frenchman Lake Piles.
  • Feather River Ranger District – La Porte Underburn and Piles in the Little Grass Valley Reservoir, La Porte and Valley Creek areas; Challenge Underburn and Piles in the Challenge area; Berry Creek Piles near the community of Berry Creek; Oro-Quincy Highway Piles along the Oro-Quincy Highway; Concow/Magalia Piles around the communities of Concow and Magalia; Feather Falls Piles near Feather Falls.
  • Mount Hough Ranger District – Butterfly Valley Underburn in Butterfly Valley near Quincy; Spanish Ranch Underburn near Quincy; and multiple pile burning projects across the district as they are accessible and conditions allow.

Pile burning may continue through the winter as access, weather conditions and firefighter availability allows.

“We had a late but long spring prescribed burning season,” said Forest Fuels Officer Ryan Bauer.  “After a relatively mild summer, we are looking forward to getting started on fall prescribed burning and making progress on critical fuel reduction work throughout the forest.”

Information will be shared ahead of, during and following prescribed burning operations on the Forest Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas. To be added to the email distribution list, email tamara.schmidt@usda.gov.

Prescribed burning is done when several factors including fuel moisture, temperature, wind direction and speed, humidity levels and other measures are within the range of prescription.  Coordination with area air resource agencies also occurs before operations begin.

Smoke from both underburn and pile burning implementation is expected to be visible but not have significant long-term impacts to local communities.  There may be reduced visibility on area roads during operations, as well as during evening and early morning hours when smoke tends to settle in lower areas.

There will also be increased firefighting equipment traffic in the area, particularly in the morning and evening hours.  Drivers in the area should use caution, watch for fire equipment exiting and entering area roadways, and possible slow traffic.

“Public and firefighter safety is our highest priority while conducting prescribed burning and fuel reduction work on the Plumas National Forest,” Bauer said.  “We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of area residents and visitors while we are doing this work to help protect our communities in and around the Forest.”

If weather conditions become unfavorable, including increased or gusty winds in the area, burning will stop until conditions improve.  Firefighters will be monitoring conditions throughout the operations.

For more information on the Plumas National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/plumas or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas.