Prescribed burn begins east of North Fork Saturday

A prescribed burn will be in place in the Kinsman Flat area, directly east of North Fork, for the next one to three days starting tomorrow, Saturday April 22, officials with the Sierra National Forest announced Friday.

Smoke from the Kinsman Project could impact the Big Creek drainage and Cascadel Woods area in coming days, and may also be visible from the Valley floor.

Using the advantage of favorable weather conditions, extra fire personnel and equipment will be committed to the project until the treatment is extinguished as burn days permit.

The treatment area planned will consist of 200 acres in total, composed of bulldozer crushed 30-year-old chaparral fuels. It will be staffed with fire engines and crews from the Sierra National Forest (SNF) plus a contracted crew. The current conditions (grass green up and increased live fuel moistures in surrounding brush fields) are very conducive to this type of burning to safely accomplish the objectives with minimal risk of escape.

This type of burn is used to improve the wildlife habitat for deer and wild turkey, and also to reduce fuel hazards around the Kinsman Flat area. This area provides forage and hiding cover for wildlife, and is a key winter deer range for the herd of San Joaquin River Deer. This project is focused on safely removing fuels to reduce fire hazard and risk in the summer months.

This area has been treated with these types of burns first beginning in the 1950s and again in the late 1970s, taking advantage of these same types of conditions. The project was planned using the documented experience gained from these past burns.

Details: Gloria Smith, Fuels Specialist, Bass Lake Ranger District, Sierra National Forest District, (559) 877-2218 ext. 3103.

For additional information on smoke conditions and health effects, visit www.airnow.gov

Sierra National Forest