Prescribed Fire

Firefighter working with a drip torch on the Harris Prescribed Fire October 12, 2018

Firefighter using a drip torch to ignite Harris Prescribed Understory Fire on October 12, 2018 northeast of McCloud, CA (photograph by Liz Younger, Forest Fire Planner)

As temperatures drop and the first precipitation of the season has arrived, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest is beginning its preparations for fall, winter and spring prescribed fire projects.             

Prescribed fire, including vegetation cutting, removal and burning of piles and low-intensity understory burning, is an important tool for the Forest’s mission to reduce build-up of hazardous fuels, restore forest ecosystems and improve safety of communities within the wildland urban interface.

Pre-planned prescribed fire projects are planned for at specific locations across the forest from November 2020 through June 2021. Actual project ignition will depend upon local weather and fuel conditions. The main goals of these projects are to reduce the severity of future wildfires and provide added protection for communities in the wildland urban interface. In addition, prescribed burns promote a diverse and more resilient forest and improve habitat for wildlife.

“With the cool and wet weather this week, our first prescribed fire projects are being planned north and east of McCloud,” explained Prescribed Fire & Fuels Specialist Heather McRae. “These projects are conducted in accordance with an approved burn plan to ensure the safety of people and property in the area. Burn plans describe the specific conditions under which burns will be conducted including the weather, number of personnel and opportunities to minimize smoke impacts.”

Pre-ignition public notifications will be provided to local media outlets and will also be posted on the Forest’s and pages. Information may also be found on the 2020/2021 RX Burning page on InciWeb at

Residents and visitors are asked to avoid areas where prescribed burns are being conducted and some may see or smell smoke. People should not be alarmed; the fires will be carefully monitored. Local fire and government authorities will be notified prior to burn days and kept informed throughout burning operations.

Following is a list of prescribed fire projects currently planned for this fall, winter and spring:  

National Recreation Area (NRA – Shasta Lake area)

O’Brien Mtn. near Packers Bay, northeast of Jones Valley between Squaw and Pit arm of Shasta Lake, west of Lakeshore between Charlie Creek and Little Dog Creek, north of Lakeshore along Forest Road, in Lakeshore area proper off of Lakeshore drive and near Antlers marina and west of Jones Valley in the Silverthorn area.

South Fork Management Unit (SFMU –Wildwood, Platina, and Hayfork area)

Sims Roadside/Landline Buffer hand piles near Hyampom, Ewing Interagency Prescribed Fire near Ewing Reservoir, Goods Prescribed Fire near Wildwood; Upper Harrison Gulch Small Project hand piles near Platina; 2015 Fires Reforestation site prep and plantation thinning hand piles in vicinity of Barker Mountain, Blue Point and Plummer Peak, Trinity Post-Fire Hazard Reduction hand piles, Buck Fire Suppression Repair piles and Texas Spider landing piles near Wildwood, Westside IRTC landing piles near Forest Glen and Harrison Gulch Administrative Compound Broadcast Burn near Platina.

Shasta McCloud Management Unit (SMMU – Mt. Shasta and McCloud areas)

McCloud Flats area east and northeast of McCloud, northeast of Mt. Shasta City, near Snowman’s Summit, and southeast of Castle Crags State Park.

Trinity River Management Unit (TRMU – Big Bar and Weaverville area)

Big Bar District - Pattison Peak, Underwood Mountain, Denny Road and Bell Flat

Weaverville District - Trinity Dam, Trinity Mountain, Dog Creek, Long Canyon and the Weaverville Community Forest.

Prescribed burning may also occur intermittently at Forest Service Fire Stations, Ranger Stations and Campgrounds.

View a photo album of the prescribed fire projects on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest at