Sherman Prescribed Burn ignitions begin

Clearing the forest of debris and giant sequoia regeneration is the purpose of the Sherman Prescribed Burn. (National Park Service photo)

Monday, July 8, 2019 – Following a successful test burn this morning and a determination by the burn boss and fire management staff, ignitions have begun on the Sherman Prescribed Burn in Sequoia National Park. Three to five days of ignitions are planned to complete this critical fuels treatment.
The Sherman Prescribed Burn is located in the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park approximately a half mile northeast of the Giant Forest Museum. The purpose of this 245-acre prescribed burn is to promote sequoia tree reproduction and reduce hazardous fuel loading around one of the Sequoia’s most visited areas.
“We are excited for this project to be occurring in an area where the public can safely view a prescribed burn being executed,” says Andrew Cremers, burn boss. “When a prescribed burn is conducted in a highly visited area such as the Giant Forest, it provides us with a great visual tool to share with the public why hazardous fuels reduction for the protection of park infrastructur and our natural assets is so important.”
Visitors in the area between Lodgepole and the Giant Forest Museum should expect to be impacted by smoke. The smoke density will lessen as fuels within the prescribed burn area are consumed and ultimately self-extinguish. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks work with the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District to coordinate and regulate smoke contributions to the airshed
Closures and delays
Visitors to the area on ignition days should expect 30-minute traffic delays related to the burn, as well as moderate smoke impacts in the Giant Forest, General Sherman Tree, and Lodgepole areas. At night, smoke may be discernible in the parks’ lower elevations and in Three Rivers.
A few trails that enter the burn area, including the Congress Trail, will be closed during ignitions and the burn-down period, and will be clearly marked. Many other trails in the area that offer a comparable experience will be open without restriction.

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