KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Calif. May 12, 2020 – Fire managers from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have scheduled the first prescribed burn of 2020 in the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park to occur between now and the end of May. This is the second phase of the Cedar Central Prescribed Burn that was started in June 2019 in which 218-acres of the 463-acre total project were completed.
The Cedar Central Prescribed Burn is located east of Moraine Campground, north and south of Highway 180, and on both sides of the Kings River. Ignitions for the remaining 245-acres are expected to take three to four days.
Firefighters will be following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and agency best management practices to mitigate the hazards and risks associated with COVID-19 during this project. Additionally, the National Park Service is working through established frameworks to consider prescribed burn impacts, including potential smoke impacts on people and communities who may be at risk.
“Cedar Grove is a very remote section of Kings Canyon National Park with little chance of public exposure to smoke this time of year,” said John Ziegler, parks’ fire management officer. “Conducting this project now, through active management, we are reducing our wildfire risk and ensuring the health of our parks for generations.”
If Cedar Grove is open during the ignition period, firefighters will be working along Highway 180. Visitors are asked to drive slowly, use caution at night, and follow directions from firefighters and rangers. Additionally, visitors should expect to see smoldering logs and wispy smoke as fuels in the area continue to burn down after ignitions are over.
Historic fire return interval in this area averages every three to ten years. The purpose of this prescribed burn is to reduce hazardous fuel loading and maintain the natural fire cycle in Cedar Grove. The areas of focus were last treated between 2011 and 2008.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks work closely with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to coordinate and regulate smoke contributions to the airshed. For more 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.
For updates about the Cedar Central Prescribed Burn, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6353/.
About Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ Fire Management Program
For over fifty years, our mission has been to use the full range of options and strategies available to manage fire in the parks. This includes protecting park resources, employees, and the public from unwanted fire; building and maintaining fire resilient ecosystems; reducing the threat to local communities from wildfires emanating from the parks or adjacent lands; and recruiting, training, and retaining a professional fire management workforce.