Firefighters on the Plumas National Forest are continuing prescribed burning operations, conditions permitting, reports PNF Public Information Officer Tamara Schmidt.
La Porte RX – Grass Flat Project
On the Feather River Ranger District, firefighters continued prescribed burning operations on the La Porte RX – Little Grass Project, successfully treating approximately 167 acres Oct. 13. On Oct. 14, they successfully treated approximately 238 acres. Currently, firefighters are focused on mop-up and patrol and will continue monitoring the approximately 405 acres treated since ignitions started Oct. 12 on the north and east sides of Little Grass Valley Reservoir.
Units in this project area are near Forest Road 22N57 and border private property, said Schmidt. The trail along the lake between Pancake Beach Day Use Area and Black Rock Campground is closed. While roads remain open, the recreating public is asked to avoid the area, including Black Rock and Horse Camp campgrounds and Maidu Boat Ramp and Day Use Area.
On Oct. 14, smoke pushed into the South Fork Feather River, away from communities. Overall, smoke is expected to be visible but not have significant long-term impacts to nearby communities. Short-duration, minor smoke impacts are also possible on neighboring forest roads, as well as on California State Highway 70.
Wyandotte Campground and Tooms Boat Ramp are still open through this weekend.
Big Hill Project
On the Beckwourth Ranger District, firefighters accomplished 67 acres of prescribed burning on the Big Hill Project near Cromberg by the end of the day Oct. 13, with good fire effects, said Schmidt. On Oct. 14, firefighters decided not to proceed with additional ignitions, due to predicted winds.
Schmidt reported that test fires Oct. 15 were unsuccessful and they were extinguished. Smoke dispersion was not as favorable as what was forecasted and there would have been smoke impacts to Greenhorn Ranch and Quincy. Schmidt said the decision was made to hold off until more favorable atmospheric conditions.
Work will continue on mop-up and patrol of the treated unit, as well as preparations for prescribed burning on other units in the project area.
During prescribed burns, area residents and visitors should be prepared for increased firefighter traffic and smoke, said Schmidt. Visibility on roads in the project areas may be reduced, especially early in the morning and late evening as smoke settles. Drivers should use caution.
“We appreciate the understanding, cooperation and patience of our area residents and visitors as we work on critical fuel reduction to help protect our communities from the risk of wildfire,” said Forest Fuels Officer Ryan Bauer. He reiterated that the current prescribed burn operations are part of community protection efforts in and around PNF.
If weather conditions become unfavorable, including increased or gusty winds in the area, burning will stop until conditions improve, said Schmidt. Firefighters will be monitoring conditions throughout operations.
Information submitted by Plumas National Forest