A map of prescribed burns that are scheduled over the next few weeks.
LAKE TAHOE — Smoke from prescribed burns will likely be
visible over the next several weeks as agencies try to remove slash piles and
excess vegetation that can feed wildfires.
Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team members, California State Parks
and Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District are planning to conduct understory
burns, weather permitting, at Sugar Pine Point State Park, Glenbrook and Zephyr
Prescribed fire managers use different methods to
reintroduce fire back into forests that include pile burning and understory
Pile burning is intended to remove excess fuels (branches,
limbs and stumps) that can feed unwanted wildfires and involves burning slash
piles that are constructed by hand and mechanical equipment.
Understory burning is low intensity prescribed fire that
takes place on the ground (the understory) rather than pile burning.
Understory burning uses a controlled application of fire to
remove excess vegetation under specific environmental conditions that allow
fire to be confined to a predetermined area. It produces fire behavior and fire
characteristics required to attain planned fire and resource management
According to a press release, each prescribed fire operation
follows a specialized burn plan, which considers temperature, humidity, wind,
moisture of the vegetation and conditions for the dispersal of smoke. All of
this information is used to decide when and where to burn.
Prescribed fire operations are conducted whenever weather
conditions and staffing allow to reduce excess vegetation that can feed fires.
Planned fires now reduce the threat of unplanned blazes later, which helps
provide increased community protection.
Fire is a natural process in the Sierra Nevada and helps
keep our forests healthy by minimizing the spread of insects and disease,
recycling nutrients back into the soil and promoting improved habitat for
diverse vegetation and wildlife.
Smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may
continue for several days after an ignition depending on the project size and
environmental conditions. Prescribed fire smoke is generally less intense and
of much shorter duration than smoke produced by unwanted wildland fires.
Agencies coordinate closely with local county and state air
pollution control districts and monitor weather conditions carefully prior to
prescribed fire ignitions. They wait for favorable conditions that will carry
smoke up and disperse it away from smoke sensitive areas. Crews also conduct
test burns before igniting a larger area, to verify how effectively materials
are consumed and how smoke will travel.
Before prescribed fire operations are conducted, agencies
post road signs around areas affected by prescribed fire, send email
notifications and update the local fire information line maintained by the Lake
Tahoe Basin Management Unit at 530-543-2816.
The TFFT gives as much advance notice as possible before
burning, but some operations may be conducted on short notice due to the small
window of opportunity.
View the map with the project details at https://www.tahoelivingwithfire.com/get-informed/ and sign-up for prescribed fire notifications by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the benefits prescribed fire, visit http://www.tahoelivingwithfire.com/get-informed/understanding-fire/.