Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks fire crews will ignite a prescribed burn in the Redwood Canyon area of Kings Canyon National Park on Saturday, June 11. Ignitions, mostly aerial, will continue on the 759-acre Goliath Fire for four to five days.
“Forecast models and recent fuel moisture samples show that this specific time will give the parks the best window to ensure a successful burn while minimizing smoke impact,” said Michael Theune, parks’ fire education specialist.
Smoke impacts can be expected in Redwood Canyon and the Kings Canyon Overlook area during the day. Smoke will waft down the Kaweah River’s North Fork canyon at night.
Home to the largest giant sequoia grove in the world, the purpose of this prescribed burn is to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. A prescribed burn is one of the only natural means to prepare a mineral soil seed bed, which giant sequoias require to regenerate; the other being a lightning-caused fire when conditions may not be as ideal.
“Through this prescribed burn, we can complete a key segment in returning the natural fire history to an area of Redwood Canyon that hasn’t seen fire for generations,” said Tony Caprio, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks fire ecologist. “We’ve seen from previous prescribed burns that areas where fire has been returned are not only safer, but show lower tree mortality, and trees more resilient to drought.”
All trails surrounding the burn unit will have restricted access during ignition and through the burn-down period. If safe to do so, firefighters may be able to escort visitors along a short section of the Redwood Canyon Trail between the Sugar Bowl and Hart Tree trails.
For more information about the prescribed burn, updates about the progress, and maps and photos, go here.