With the shorter days and cooler temperatures, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced this week plans for two prescribed burns. One project is planned for each park and scheduled to be completed before the end of the year, although specific dates have not been announced.
The 488-acre Sherman Prescribed Burn will be in the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park.
The 466-acre Cedar Central Prescribed Burn will be ignited in Cedar Grove of Kings Canyon National Park.
Because of the volatile wildfire year elsewhere this past summer, the local parks have completed only two prescribed fires in 2018 totalling under 100 acres. As fire activity throughout California and the rest of the West moderates, National Park Service fire crews are returning from fires outside the Sequoia-Kings Canyon area and are now available to support and manage these local prescribed fire projects. The goal of park crews is to take a proactive approach to fire and fuels management.
The prescribed fires will be conducted in coordination with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District in order to reduce smoke impacts on the nearby communities and park visitors. Generally, there is a lull in visitation during the fall just prior to the busy holiday season.
If a weather window exists, especially if there has been some precipitation, then the projects could be given the green light under optimal conditions.
Every attempt will be made to keep nearby campgrounds and day-use areas open, but visitors during prescribed fire events should expect some delays, smoke, and temporary trail closures.
For more information, contact Mike Theune, fire information officer, at (559) 565-3703.