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Sierra National Forest Plans to Initiate Winter/Spring Prescribed Burning in the Bass Lake Ranger District

North Fork, Calif., – Sierra National Forest (SNF) fire officials plan to implement their winter/spring prescribed burning program within the Bass Lake Ranger District (BLRD). The projects are on Bass Lake Recreation Sites, Carmen Pasture, Cedar Valley, Creek Fire Double-gate, Ferguson Fire, Greys Mountain, Sugar Pine, Sonny Meadows Timberloft, as well as; administrative sites at Batterson, Clearwater, Jerseydale, North Fork and other stations, for approximately 1200 total acres.

These projects areas are located throughout the BLRD in both Madera and Mariposa Counties. For public and firefighter safety, signs will be posted along roadways where burning is taking place. Burning is planned for daytime conditions, to help limit visibility impacts from smoke to residences. Burning may occur during some weekend periods as well. The burning is planned to be completed during favorable forest fuels burning conditions throughout the winter/spring months of February thru June 1, 2020 depending on weather and resource availability.

The prescribed fire objective is to remove vegetation (fuels) accumulations due to tree mortality and timber harvest work, within recent timber sales and fuels treatment project areas, listed above. These burns are conducted within the proximity of urban interface, as part of an on-going wildfire defense system across the forest designed to slow the progression of wildfires into surrounding communities such as Jerseydale, Ponderosa Basin, Sugar Pine, Fish Camp, Cedar Valley, North Fork and Oakhurst.

This fuel reduction activity allows firefighters a safe area to engage in suppression activities, such as on the recent Railroad, Ferguson and Creek fires. Recurring treatments are necessary to maintain defense effectiveness as well as, to promote ecosystem health, restoration, and resiliency.

These projects may result in a temporary reduction in air quality in the communities of North Fork, Ponderosa Basin, Jerseydale, Oakhurst, Fish Camp, Sugar Pine, Cedar Valley, Bass Lake, Ahwahnee, and surrounding areas.

The SNF coordinates all burning activities with the Mariposa County and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to time the project to coincide with favorable weather conditions and smoke dispersion. Also, Coordination with Cal Trans and local law enforcement agencies to keep traffic flowing smoothly along Hwy 41.  Local community residents and visitors to the forest can learn more about air quality and smoke by visiting either www.airnow.gov or www.valleyair.org. and traffic status along Hwy 41 at Roads, Traffic and Travel.

For more information on the planned prescribed burns, contact the Bass Lake Ranger District Office at (559) 877-2218.

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