June 20, 2019— On Thursday morning, June 20, ignitions began on the 2019 Ash Mountain Prescribed Burn, located near the entrance to Sequoia National Park. Ignitions will continue through Sunday, June 23.
During prescribed burns, fire management staff monitor conditions such as temperature, relative humidity, and fire behavior to ensure that ignitions take place in appropriate windows. They are prepared to stop ignitions should conditions become unsuitable for burning, and resume when conditions return to an appropriate range. Firefighters are beginning their days on this prescribed burn at 6 a.m. in order to take advantage of the cooler morning hours.
Located in the foothills, this prescribed burn consists of nine segments located near the Generals Highway, the Foothills Visitor Center, and other park infrastructure, for a total of 25 acres. All segments are located within approximately one mile of the park entrance. In this ecosystem, fine fuels such as exotic grasses regrow rapidly, necessitating repeated prescribed burn treatments annually. By reducing fuels adjacent to infrastructure in the hottest and driest part of the parks, prescribed burns reduce the risks posed by potential wildfires later in the season.
The parks are joined on this project by Engine 73 from Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a local Cal Fire engine, and a Tulare County hand crew. Visitors may see smoke, active fire, and firefighters during the burn and are asked to drive slowly and follow firefighter instructions. Smoke is expected to disperse quickly. Visitors can learn more about air quality here.