Late April Prescribed Burn Planned for Cedar Grove
Incident: Cedar East Omnibus & Lewis Camp Prescribed Fire
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. April 18, 2017 – The first prescribed burn of 2017 is scheduled to start on April 22 in Cedar Grove, located in Kings Canyon National Park. Spring brings ideal conditions for this project as moisture levels are just right and temperatures are lower. The prescribed burn is scheduled to last 5 days.
The purpose of this 597-acre prescribed burn is to reduce hazardous fuel loadings and restore/maintain the natural fire cycle in the Cedar Grove. The historic fire return interval in this area is approximately once every three to ten years. There are two main sections of the prescribed burn. The east section, known as Cedar East, is 553-acres with three sub-sections that last burned in 2006, 2005, 1996, and 1996, with one section having no recorded fire history. The west section, known as Lewis Camp, is 44-acres which also saw prescribed burning in 1996 & 1995.
Holding the prescribed burn at this time of year also reduces the impacts to visitors as the road to Cedar Grove has been closed since last fall. This prescribed burn will not impact the scheduled opening date of Cedar Grove to the public on April 28 at 12:00 pm. All facilities such as campgrounds, lodges, and public areas remain on schedule for previously determined open dates.
“The 2015 Rough Fire not only showed how effective prescribed burning is in reducing tree mortality and fire severity, but also demonstrated how treated areas can slow down and stop a massive wildfire. Having previous and recent fire history in Cedar Grove, $100’s of millions in assets such as campgrounds, wastewater treatment facilities, roads, employee and concession housing, and the Cedar Grove Lodge were saved,” said Todd Bates, Fuels Management Specialist for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks..
There are no plans to have any trail closures after this prescribed burn however visitors should remain vigilant to their soundings.
Smoke impacts to the public are expected to be minimal with smoke traveling upslope and east towards the Sierra Crest during the day and downslope and west at night in Cedar Grove. For information about air quality in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks visit go.nps.gov/sekiair. For regional information about air quality visit www.valleyair.org.