Lassen National Forest begins spring prescribed fire projects

Fire specialists on the Lassen National Forest have been preparing for prescribed burn projects across all three districts while waiting for favorable conditions to begin operations. Work begins on the ground April 15, 2024, and will continue through the spring as weather and conditions allow.

The various prescribed fire fuels projects include approximately 3,600 acres of pile burns across all three districts, with the majority in the Dixie Fire footprint; the Almanor Basin Underburn, approximately 3,000 acres in the vicinity of West Shore, five miles southeast of Chester and in Warner Valley, two miles northwest of Chester; the Front Country Underburn, approximately 3,500 acres with the Boondocks Project 10 miles southwest of Mineral; the Hogsback Project 13 miles southwest of Mineral; the North 49 Underburn, approximately 2,000 acres 6 miles southwest of Old Station; the Eastside Pine Underburn, approximately 2,500 acres 8 miles east of Hat Creek; the Old Station WUI Underburn, approximnately 1,000 acres in the vicinity of Old Station; the Bailey Underburn,  approximately 1,700 acres 2 miles west of Silver Bowl Campground and 7 miles southeast of Bogard; and the Signal Underburn; approximately 4,400 acres 6 miles west of Eagle Lake Campground and 5 miles northwest of Spalding.

The Lassen National Forest land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health. This strategy includes reducing forest fuels and using prescribed burning on the landscape.

Prescribed burns are conducted within a “prescription” that is determined by appropriate fuel moisture, temperature, humidity, wind and ventilation. Experienced fire and fuels specialists on the Lassen National Forest build prescribed burn plans using the most up-to-date science and modeling along with their combined on the ground fire and fuels experience. Fire personnel implement, evaluate, check and patrol each burn to ensure it meets the goals and objectives outlined in the prescribed fire plans.

Prescribed fire helps us protect peoples’ livelihoods, property and critical infrastructure, such as powerlines and telecommunication links, thus reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire impacting our local communities.

Prescribed fires reduce hazardous fuels, minimizes the spread of pest insects and disease, provides forage for game, improves habitat, recycles nutrients back to the soil and promotes the growth of trees, wildflowers, and other plants, contributing to overall forest health.

The Forest Service will post signs on roads likely to be affected by operations as work begins in each of the project areas this season. Seasonal weather is expected to be average temperatures with average precipitation through spring and into early summer.

Fire activity is expected to be low to moderate during the initial burn periods. Fire specialists anticipate daytime smoke impacts during these times, and in the early morning and late evening as smoke settles into valleys and low-lying areas. Please use caution while driving through these areas and slow down for the safety of firefighters and the public. Check for smoke impacts in your area at airnow.gov.

To see any available maps for these prescribed fire projects, visit our website at fs.usda.gov/news/lassen/news-events.

For more information about the Lassen National Forest follow us on Facebook @LassenNationalForest or X @LassenNF.