OAKHURST, Calif., May 2, 2019 –Sierra National Forest fire officials plan to continue implementation of the spring underburning program within the Bass Lake Ranger District on the Greys Mountain, Doublegate, Timberloft and Lone Seqouia projects for approx 400 acres.
These burn projects are concentrated along the Miami Creek watershed, from Westfall Station south to Kamook OHV staging Area, and in the Moon Rock area north of Bass Lake Vista up to Sivels Mountain alng the 6S11 Road. These projects may result in a temporary reduction in air quality in the communities of Oakhurst, Fish Camp, Sugar Pine, Cedar Valley, Bass Lake, Ahwahnee, and surrounding areas. For your safety, signs will be posted along roadways entering areas where burning is taking place. Burning is planned for both day and night to help limit visiablity impacts from smoke to vehicles traveling along Hwy 41. Burning may occur during weekend periods as well. The burning is planned to be completed by early to mid June depending on weather conditions and resource availabilty.
Objectives for underburning are to remove fuel accumulations due to tree mortality and timber harvest work along Hwy 41. The removal of these fuels provides a benefit by reducing the potential of a wildfire that would cause damage to private property, wildlife habitat, and watersheds.
These burns are within proximity of urban interface areas that are part of an on going planned wildfire defense system across the forest, designed to slow the progression of wildfires towards surrounding communities such as Sugar Pine, Fish Camp, Cedar Valley and Oakhurst and allow firefighters a safe area to engage suppression activities such as on the recent Railroad, Oak and Ferguson fires. Recurring treatments are necessary to maintain the effectiveness as well as, to promote ecosystem restoration and health objectives.
The Forest Service coordinates these burning activities with the Mariposa County and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to time the project to coincide with favorable weather conditions and smoke dispersion. Also, coordination with Cal Trans and local law enforcement agencies occurs to keep traffic flowing smoothly along Hwy 41. Local community residents and visitors to the forest can learn more about air quality and smoke by visiting either www.airnow.gov or www.valleyair.org. and traffic status along Hwy 41 at Roads, Traffic and Travel.
For more information on the planned prescribed burns, contact the Bass Lake Ranger District Office at (559) 877-2218.