The Bly Ranger District, USFS, plans to conduct a prescribed fire operation starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, through Friday, March 20, 2020, to burn hand piles resulting from a fuel reduction and hazardous tree removal project.
The prescribed fire activities will focus on burning approximately 79 acres of hand piles in the Horseglade Meadow, Camp 6, area. Hand piles are a result of using chainsaws to thin the forest. Much of the smaller cut material is piled for burning. Piles must be burned before the project is complete.
Public and firefighter safety is always the number one priority in burning operations. Wind helps disperse smoke created during pile burning operations and snow helps keep the piles contained. Seeing flames and smoke, even after dark, is part of normal operations. This is one way that we can help reduce the buildup of fuel on the landscape under the safest conditions.
Conditions are evaluated each day to determine if ignition will take place. Precipitation, wind, temperature, fuel moisture, and staffing all play a part in when and whether ignition occurs. Ignitions are generally expected to begin after 10 a.m. and will cease several hours before sunset. Firefighters monitor the area after burning is complete. Fire spread from pile footprints occurs and can often be anticipated within the treatment area.
Treatment areas typically lose snow more quickly than surrounding untreated areas as a result of increased sun exposure and wind scour from thinned trees. Fire managers track weather and site conditions for control, primarily focusing on treatment area perimeters. If snow is lost or piles continue to hold heat within areas near unit perimeters, fire crews will extinguish them. Smoke and flames are often visible while piles burn down.
No road or trail closures are planned as part of the prescribed fire. However, during operations, fire personnel and vehicles may be visible to the public. Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened awareness when passing through active project areas.