Saturday, December 2, 2023
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HomeNewsPlumas National Forest prescribed burning underway

Plumas National Forest prescribed burning underway

Smoke will be highly visible; Butterfly Valley Trail closed

Plumas National Forest reported that firefighters started prescribed burning ignitions today in Butterfly Valley near Quincy on the Mount Hough Ranger District.

Test fires this morning were successful on the Butterfly Valley Prescribed Burn, said Public Affairs Officer Tamara Schmidt. She said firefighters reported that high humidity this morning resulted in a slow start, but weather conditions looked great for the rest of the day. The plan was to treat approximately 90 acres today.

“Firefighters will be prioritizing securing the line and mop up adjacent to private property before starting to down staff for the night,” said Schmidt.

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Plans for this project are to treat approximately 275 acres with underburning; ignitions will continue through Monday, Oct. 9, conditions permitting. 

The units being treated this weekend are generally adjacent to private lands and homes in the wildland urban interface in Butterfly Valley. The Butterfly Valley Trail in the Butterfly Valley Botanical Area will be closed through the weekend due to prescribed burning operations in the immediate area.

Smoke will be highly visible in the area, including to the communities of Butterfly Valley, Quincy, Keddie, and Meadow Valley, as well as along California State Highways 70 and 89, and in the Feather River Canyon.

There should be no significant or long-term smoke impacts to area communities, said Schmidt. Minor smoke impacts of short duration are possible in the communities of Butterfly Valley, Keddie, and Meadow Valley, as well as on neighboring forest roads. 

“This is the latest in critical fuel reduction work to protect not only the residents of Butterfly Valley, but also neighboring communities including Keddie, Quincy, and Meadow Valley from the risk of wildfire,” said Mount Hough Ranger District Fuels Battalion Joe McGinn. “We appreciate the patience, cooperation and support from area residents as we continue fuel reduction for community protection in the Butterfly Valley area.”

Resources for the Butterfly Valley prescribed burning operation became available as pile burning on the Feather River Ranger District on the north side of Little Grass Valley Reservoir is paused. 

Recently, firefighters were able to successfully complete the 82 acres planned on the La Porte RX–Little Grass Project and they will continue patrols and monitoring through the weekend, said Schmidt. However, fuel conditions are expected to benefit from forecasted rain early next week and there were concerns about impacts to recreating members of the public in the area. Operations are expected to resume on that project Tuesday.

If weather conditions on any prescribed burning operation become unfavorable, including increased or gusty winds in the area, burning will stop until conditions improve. Firefighters will be monitoring conditions throughout the operation.

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Information submitted by Plumas National Forest

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