COARSEGOLD– The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), in cooperation with California Highway Patrol (CHP), California Department of Transportation (CAL TRANS), Pacific Southwest Research Station / Fresno State University, Private Landowners, and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, aims to reduce large conflagrative fires and high suppression costs, to the citizens of California, by conducting a prescribed burn along the Highway 41 on May 31 and June 1.
Historically, this stretch of Highway 41 has proven to have more fires annually than anywhere else within the CAL FIRE Madera, Mariposa, Merced Unit (MMU).
The prescribed burn encompasses the east side of Hwy 41 from the Madera Canal (Mile Marker 6.95) to Road 200 (Mile Marker 17.91) in O’Neals. This project will help reduce the fire threat to unincorporated communities around Coarsegold, O’Neals, and Hidden Lakes, which are isolated residential areas located along the Highway 41 corridor.
The following days are scheduled if current weather conditions remain stable and resources are available due to fire activity:
May 31– Road 200 South to Rocky Cut (M.M 17.91 – M.M 14.035). Burning will take place between 6:30 pm and 12:00 am. Traffic may slow or stop within this section for a minimal amount of time. Smoke and fire activity on cut banks with narrow shoulders along the Highway may affect roadway conditions.
June 1 – 22 Mile House to Highway 145 (M.M 9.25– M.M 14.035). This section encompasses from Highway 145 north to the end of the new four lanes of Hwy 41. Burning will take place between 6:30 pm to 12:00 am. There should be little impact on Highway 41. There will be smoldering heavier fuels throughout the night, with crews monitoring the fire.
This is a control burn, so please do not report it.
Please use caution when driving.
For more information, visit Fire.ca.gov
Prescribed Fire is the planned and controlled application of fire to the land under specified conditions to reduce vegetation and risk from wildfire. As a land management tool, prescribed fire is an efficient and cost-effective way to reduce fuels where physical and social conditions are conducive to its use. You can check out a video here about prescribed fire, and more information is available on the CAL FIRE website.