MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. – The Mendocino National Forest Grindstone Ranger District is planning a prescribed fire starting Tuesday, June 12, above Alder Springs, conditions permitting.
If good conditions are sustained, the prescribed fire operation will continue for at least two days, possibly up to four days.
The Unit 74 burn is approximately 388 acres and is located between Forest Highway 7, Forest Road M3 and Glenn County Road 311.
The unit will be burned in three sections, with the first 217 acres anticipated for Tuesday and Wednesday.
The next section is 125 acres planned for Thursday, and the final 45 acres would be completed Friday, weather and conditions permitting.
The area is located between 4,500 feet and 5,500 feet elevation.
High temperatures are forecasted to be in the low- to mid-80s at the unit during the scheduled dates for the prescribed fire. Recent precipitation has raised fuel moisture levels at the unit enough to safely conduct prescribed fire activities.
The public may notice smoke in this area of the forest Tuesday, as well as residual smoke after ignitions are over.
“The forest is taking every precaution to maintain control over the fire and it will be suppressed if at any point conditions start to deteriorate,” said Forest Supervisor Sherry Tune. “Extreme care is also being used with the test fires, the ignitions and then subsequent holding that will take place. The prescribed fire unit will remain continuously staffed until the event is closed and there is no heat remaining in the unit.”
Staffing for the prescribed fire includes six fire engines, one water tender, one Type 1 Handcrew, six additional resources. Staging on site prepared for suppression activities will include a dozer and Type 1 Handcrew.
With the unit surrounded by roads, if suppression activities are called for, staff will be able to access the entire unit within minutes.
The unit is being treated to remove hazardous fuels, restore forest health and promote growth within a young pine plantation that is being choked by brush.
“We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding while we conduct prescribed fire operations as part of ecological restoration on the Forest,” Tune said.
Forest visitors are asked to be aware of their surroundings and watch for prescribed burning operations to maintain personal and fire fighter safety. Areas where prescribed burning operations are taking place will be well signed with increased fire personnel and agency traffic in the area.
Visitors are encouraged to contact the Forest at 530-966-4152 for more information. Confirmation and updates on prescribed fire activities can also be found on Twitter, @MendocinoNF.
Prescribed burning is an important tool for the forest to use for hazardous fuels reduction and forest health improvement, including wildlife habitat.
Prescribed fire is applied by trained professionals in a skillful manner under specific weather conditions in a defined location to achieve specific objectives.
Each prescribed fire can be different visually depending on the forest types, fuel load and how long fire has been absent from the area, including both wildfires and prescribed fires.
Prescribed burns are conducted when there is a window of opportunity and specific conditions and criteria are met before, and will be sustained during and after, the burn.
For more information, please contact the Mendocino National Forest at 530-934-3316, or visit www.fs.usda.gov/mendocino .