Each year, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks firefighters ignite a prescribed burn in the dry grassland between the Sequoia National Park entrance station and Foothills Visitor Center to reduce the risk of fire spreading to nearby park housing units or the Ash Mountain administration buildings.
This year’s foothills burn is scheduled to begin this Sunday (June 3). Ignitions will continue for a few days and up the Generals Highway to Hospital Rock, a popular picnic area and roadside stop. Reducing fuels in this area minimizes the chance of a human-caused fire that could spread upslope and threaten the Giant Forest.
This weekend’s Ash Mountain Prescribed Burn will consist of six segments, totaling about 10 acres of burning and another 10 acres of “mechanical treatment (thinning, weedeating, removing dead vegetation).
Visitors will see fire and smoke as they travel the Generals Highway for the first five to six miles. Residents and visitors in Three Rivers will know when the fires are lit because they will see the smoke plumes up-canyon.
In addition to protecting park resources, employees, and the public from a destructive fire, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’s prescribed burn program builds and maintains fire-resilient ecosystems, reduces the threat to local communities from wildfires, and trains a professional fire management workforce.