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Governor Newsom executive order brings prescribed burning to Highway 41 in the foothills this week

A sign along Highway 41 leading into Oakhurst announces Yosemite Park is closed Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Oakhurst.
A sign along Highway 41 leading into Oakhurst announces Yosemite Park is closed Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Oakhurst. ezamora@fresnobee.com

Prescribed burning is planned along Highway 41 in the foothills this week, an effort to reduce risk of wildfire.

According to a Cal Fire news release, the burning will run 11 miles from the Friant Canal to Road 200 in O’Neals. Burning will take place from 7 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday.

Traffic along the corridor should remain unaffected, according to Cal Fire, with the exception of Tuesday’s burns. Burning that day will be on cut banks and narrow shoulders and smoke could limit visibility.

The location of the burns will progress along Highway 41 in line with this schedule:

June 11 - Road 200 to Rocky Cut (About 4 miles)

June 12 - Highway 145 to the end of the new four lanes on Highway 41 (About 5 miles)

June 13 - Highway 145 to the Madera Canal (About 2 miles)

“This project will help reduce the fire threat to unincorporated communities around Coarsegold, O’Neals and Hidden Lakes, which are isolated residential areas located along the Highway 41 corridor,” read the news release.

Fuel reduction activities within the project area were completed prior to the burning. Cal Fire crews chipped brush piles along private landowner’s fuel breaks.

The project fulfills Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-05-19 (Community Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Report) issued in January, which prioritized 35 projects that will protect 200 of California’s most wildfire-vulnerable communities.

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