OAKHURST – Sierra National Forest (SNF) officials continue their spring prescribed burning program within the Bass Lake Ranger District.
Using the advantage of favorable weather conditions, extra fire personnel and equipment will be committed to the project until the treatments are extinguished, as burn days permit. Projects will include understory burning in the months of May and early June.
According to Battalion Chief Burt Stalter, SNF received the approval to begin ignitions on the Greys Mountain Underburn Project Unit RX 07 for 37 acres.
“We will begin [Thursday] morning around 11 a.m. and continue through the day and complete any unburned areas on Friday,” Stalter posted. “We will not ignite on the weekend due to the Bass Lake Event on Saturday. We will have a 20-person hand crew, one engine, skid steer equipment and miscellaneous overhead on scene during the burning.”
“We are working towards a goal of getting 300 to 400 acres burned between now and middle of June if conditions remain favorable,” says Stalter. “The roads in this area that will be impacted during these operations will be the 6S11, 6S13, 6S11X and 6S88. We will be putting up information boards and signs in high visibility locations around the Oakhurst and Ahwahnee Basin where the smoke will be very visible during ignition operations.”
This type of prescribed burn program is designed to protect communities from destructive wildfires by reducing hazardous fuel conditions and by restoring, enhancing and sustaining a healthy forest ecosystem. Through the introduction of fire as a component of ecosystem dynamics, it provides forage and hiding cover for wildlife, and becomes easier to confine and control a wildfire during the summer months.
Burning will take place in the Sugar Pine understory located north of Oakhurst within the Lewis Creek drainage; the Greys Mountain and Cedar Valley understory located northeast of Oakhurst east of Sivels Meadow to Moon Rock, and Bass Lake Vista within the Willow Creek drainage.
The SNF coordinates all burning activities with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to time the project with favorable weather conditions and smoke dispersion. Localized smoke impacts may be felt in Oakhurst, Fish Camp, Sugar Pine, Cedar Valley, Bass Lake, Ahwahnee, and North Fork.
Residents and visitors may see smoke, active fire, and firefighters during the burns, and are asked to drive slowly and carefully as they enjoy the Forest.
For firefighter and public safety, signs will be posted along roadways where burning is taking place.
For more information on the prescribed burning, contact Burt Stalter, Bass Lake Ranger District Fuels Specialist at (559) 877-2218 ext.3108.
For maps of the Burn Units click below: