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 is an important tool in our mission to reduce build-up of hazardous fuels, restore forest ecosystems and improve safety of communities within the wildland urban interface,” explained Assistant Forest Fire Management Officer Ernie Villa.

Pre-planned prescribed fire projects may take place at specific locations across the forest from mid-September through June 2020. Actual project ignition will depend upon local weather and fuel conditions. Planned projects include burn piles and low intensity understory burns of vegetation on the forest floor. 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, the prescribed burns will 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. 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: 10 miles north/northwest of Hyampom; Harrison Gulch Administrative Compound Prescribed Fire: Harrison Gulch RD Compound, 3 miles west of Platina; Ewing Interagency Prescribed Fire: near Ewing Reservoir in the Hayfork valley; Goods Prescribed Fire: 1 mile south of Wildwood; Upper Harrison Gulch Small Project hand piles: 4 miles northwest of Platina; 2015 Fires Reforestation site prep and plantation thinning hand piles: vicinity of Barker Mountain (approx. 8 miles NE of Hayfork), Blue Point approx 1 – 3 miles SE of Trinity Pines) and Plummer Peak (approx. 4 miles S of Hayfork); Trinity Post-Fire Hazard Reduction hand piles: approx. 3 miles N of Hyampom and approx. 5 – 10 miles south and southeast of Hayfork in the Plummer Peak vicinity, along Wildwood Rd, and along the Potato Cr Rd; Buck Fire Suppression Repair piles: approx. 15 miles S of Wildwood; Texas Spider landing piles: approx. 8 mile SW of Wildwood; Westside IRTC landing piles: approx. 8 miles NW of Forest Glen.

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

McCloud Flats area east and northeast of McCloud, west of Lake Siskiyou, west of Castle Crags State Park and northeast of Mt. Shasta City.

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

Trinity Lake area: North Lake Fuel Reduction hand piles north of KOA in the Trinity Center Ball Park, Long Canyon road side hand piles just west of the estates, East Side Road roadside hand piles along County Road 106 between Clear Creek and Trinity Mountain, Papoose roadside hand piles east of Trinity Dam, Red Flat roadside hand piles west of Trinity Helibase, and Lake Forest Plantations underburn west of Cedar Stock and south of Stuarts Fork. Weaverville area: Five Cent Wildlife Enhancement underburn 2 miles northwest of Weaverville, Blue Rock Road underburn 3 miles northeast of town, and Glennison Gap roadside hand piles west of town on Oregon Mountain. Trinity River area Junction City to Burnt Ranch: Corral Bottom at the junction of Forest Road 4N16 & 4N47 south of Big Bar. Burning may also occur intermittently at Forest Service Fire Stations, Ranger Stations and Campgrounds.