The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino National Forest:
Forest personnel are planning several prescribed fire operations at campgrounds and administrative sites this fall and winter, as weather patterns shift to cooler temperatures and wetter conditions.
Work began on the ground last week with successful ignitions on the Grindstone Ranger District at the Red Bluff Recreation Area. Grindstone District fire personnel are starting with pile burns in higher elevations and will be moving down to lower elevations as weather conditions permit. Today and through the weekend, firefighters are burning piles at the Letts Lake and Mill Valley campgrounds.
Next week, Upper Lake Ranger District fire personnel will potentially burn 40 acres of piles in the Lake Pillsbury basin or 20-130 acres of understory burning at Howard Mill, depending on weather conditions.
Fire managers conduct prescribed fire activities during the safest possible “burn windows” in the coming months. Numerous factors including wind, humidity, air quality, fuel moisture and availability of fire crew personnel must be met before crews are authorized to move forward with burning.
Residents and visitors are asked to avoid areas where prescribed fires are being conducted. Some smoke may be visible. Fires are carefully monitored. Local fire and government authorities are notified prior to burn days and kept informed throughout operations.
Prescribed fire is a tool that uses fire under planned ignitions to mimic the natural role of fire in the environment. Without fire, hazardous fuels can build up and carry wildfire from the forest floor to tree canopies, creating extreme fire behavior that poses risk to firefighters, surrounding communities and natural resources.
Maps, locations, photos and updates on planned prescribed burn activities will be available on Inciweb at https://bit.ly/MNF-2023-RX.