Enough moisture has been received for the National Park Service fire staff to commence with a prescribed burn in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park. On Thursday, Nov. 10, the Deadwood Prescribed Burn will be ignited, encompassing 278 acres and located north of the East Fork of the Kaweah River, east of the 2008 Davenport prescribed burn, south of Atwell Mill Campground and the Mineral King Road, and west of Cabin Cove and the Kaweah Han inholding.
Conducting the prescribed burn this time of year reduces the impacts to visitors and local residents as the road was closed for the season on October 26. As with any fire of this size, there will be some impacts, however.
The Atwell-to-Hockett Meadow Trail will be closed during ignition and burn down. And smoke can be expected in the Mineral King valley and the cabin communities of Cabin Cove and Silver City during daytime hours. Nighttime smoke could drift down the canyon into Three Rivers.
This area of the East Fork was previously burned in 1999 as part of a long-term, concerted effort to ensure the safety of residents and visitors frequenting Silver City and Mineral King on a one-way-in, one-way-out, narrow, curvy road.
“It is important to note that it takes more than just one prescribed fire to eliminate unnatural forest conditions,” wrote Mike Theune, Sequoia-Kings Canyon fire information officer, in a press release. “Additionally, having an area with recent fire history proved valuable in places like Cedar Grove and Grant Grove during the Rough Fire and contributed to saving nearly $400 million in facility assets.”
The purpose of this current fire is to continue to reduce hazardous fuel loads while reintroducing a natural fire cycle in the Kaweah River’s East Fork drainage.
For additional information, updates, and photos from the Deadwood Prescribed Burn and other fires in the parks, check in here.