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News.bytes Extra, issue 478

Fire fuel reduction at Pine Hill Preserve

For the first time in almost a decade, the Bureau of Land Management’s Mother Lode Field Office is successfully burning fire fuels at Pine Hill Preserve in western El Dorado County.

“The prescribed burning at strategic areas of the Pine Hill Preserve allows us to reduce high levels of fuel near residences. This will help us to protect both homes and the unique biological diversity that exists within the preserve lands,” said Brian Mulhollen, BLM fuels management specialist. (text continues below)

woman wearing helmet holds bunny
Kristen Allison, supervisory fuels technician from BLM's Palm Springs Field Office, holds a young rabbit removed from a pile to be burned.

Pile burning started April 14 on the fuel break behind residences near Este Vista and Sudbury drives and continued to the Bridgeport and Ashland drives areas north of Meder Road. Burning will continue in the Chasen Drive/Jackie Lane areas in coming weeks as conditions allow. About half the piles planned for burning this year have been burned.

BLM has set up an information line at (916) 941-3155 and will staff an information booth in the area during while burning is being conducted.

The pile burning is being coordinated with CALFIRE, El Dorado County Air Quality Management District and the Cameron Park Community Services District. BLM personnel from the Hollister, Palm Springs and Bakersfield field offices and California State Office have worked on the project with the Mother Lode staff. 

As part of ongoing fuel management efforts at the Pine Hill Preserve, the BLM is burning vegetation cut and piled at strategic areas within fuel breaks along the boundaries of a 360-acre parcel at the Cameron Park unit and a 10-acre parcel of the Pine Hill unit. The fuel breaks were created during the last two years to enhance public and firefighter safety and protect valuable natural resources at the Pine Hill Preserve in the event of a wildland fire.

The BLM’s management goal is to restore and/or mimic in a responsible manner the natural habitat dynamics at the Pine Hill Preserve. The BLM has implemented successful alternatives to manage vegetation using different methods to suit the Cameron Park and Pine Hill communities and the Preserve needs. Pile burning previously cut vegetation will help to reduce the amount of fuels.

Additional information is available on the BLM Mother Lode Field Office website at www.blm.gov/ca/motherlode. You can also contact Mulhollen at Brian_Mulhollen@blm.gov (916) 941-3118 and/or Graciela Hinshaw, Pine Hill Preserve manager at ghinshaw@blm.gov(916) 941-3134.

men tend piles of cut brush piled up not far from homes
BLM crews burn piles in the Sudbury Drive area

firefighters tend several piles of burning brush
A string of piles burns in the Pine Hill Preserve

a firefighter sprays water on a smouldering pile of brush
Smoke and steam rise as a firefighter extinguishes a pile.

firefighters rake apart a burned pile of brush
Fire crews extinguish the smoldering ashes near Sudbury Drive.

a wild turkey walks through a recently burned area
A curious resident inspects ashes left from a burned pile.

- Photos by Julie Wynia and Graciela Hinshaw
- David Christy, BLM Central California District Public Affairs, 4/25/11

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 478
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Last updated: 04-28-2011