After a challenging fire season, the arrival of rain and snow has allowed Klamath National Forest firefighters to shift their focus to prescribed pile burning activities. Recent wildfires and their effects on communities have underscored the need for the continuance of fuels reduction projects. Fuels reduction not only helps to make communities more defensible during wildfires, but also improves a forest’s resiliency to wildfire.
Fire managers use pile burning as one way to reduce fuels on National Forest lands. Piles may be produced as a result of logging activities where slash and tops are piled at landings for burning purposes, or may be created by hand thinning in areas where heavy equipment can’t be used to thin the forest. Pile burning is effective because it can be accomplished during wet or snowy conditions, allowing a long window of time for burning opportunities. It also is effective at reducing fuels in overly dense stands that could burn too intensely using underburning alone.
“Pile burning is a tried and true method of fuels reduction,” said Mike Appling, Forest Fire Management Officer for the Klamath. “Our firefighting work force accomplishes a lot of meaningful work outside of fire season burning piles on the Forest.”
The Klamath has a number of prescribed pile burn projects slated for the fall and winter seasons, as weather and smoke dispersal conditions allow. The following is a listing of these projects by District:
Salmon/Scott River Ranger District – The Salmon and Scott River Ranger District, working together with CAL FIRE partners, have begun to burn 131 acres of hand piles in the Craggy Project area, on the ridgeline from Gunsight Peak to McKinley Mountain. This project was designed to reduce the threat of wildfire to Yreka and surrounding communities and smoke will be visible from Yreka. Another 496 acres of pile burning are planned in the coming weeks on the Craggy Project in the Greenhorn Ridge, Craggy Mountain and Greenhorn Creek areas. Crews will also then be focusing on burning piles in multiple areas of the 3 R’s Project: 204 acres in the White’s Gulch area; 90 acres in the Six Mile area; 143 acres in Music Creek; 110 acres in Eddy Gulch/Black Bear/Bacon Rind areas; 18 acres near Uncle Sam Mine; and 9 acres near Rainbow Mine. Five miles west of Callahan, 131 acres of piles are slated for burning on the Jack Project and an additional 20 acres of piles on the McBaldy Project, just southwest of Deadwood Baldy Peak. Twenty acres of pile burning is planned on the Repete Riparian Project, 20 miles southwest of Cecilville in the Brown’s Knob area and 64 acres on the Plantation Prep Project in the Blue Ridge/Lewis Memorial area.
Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District – Fire crews will begin burning 1,600 acres of piles in the Westside Beaver Creek Project in Beaver Creek drainage starting this week. Other upcoming pile burning project areas include 407 acres on the O’Neil Gulch project in the vicinity of Horse Creek; 838 acres of piles in the Buckhorn Salvage project in the area of Buckhorn Mountain; and 332 acres in the Gulch Project, also in the Horse Creek area.
Goosenest Ranger District – The Goosenest Ranger District has been busy burning piles throughout the past two weeks on the Ruffed Grouse and Butte projects, in the areas of Four Corners Snowmobile Park and Martin’s Dairy, respectively. This project is nearing completion, with approximately 700 acres of landing piles burned. Additional projects on the Goosenest include 20 acres of piles in the Van Bremmer Fuel Management Zone, east of Tennant; 5 acres of hand piles at the Veteran’s Memorial 5 miles west of Weed; and another 5 acres of hand piles 8 miles northeast of Tennant.
In addition to the listed projects, numerous miscellaneous piles are scattered across the Klamath National Forest from ongoing projects. Visitors to the Klamath National Forest may see smoke from these projects over the course of this fall and winter. Although pile burning only occurs on days that allow for good smoke dispersion, residual smoke may be noticeable for a few days following ignition.
|Current as of|
|Incident Type||Prescribed Fire|
|Coordinates||41.739 latitude, -122.779 longitude|