News Release

For Release: October 9, 2008      
Contact: Jeff Fontana, BLM, (530) 252-5332 or Leona Rodreick, Lassen National Forest, (530) 252-6605

Prescribed Burning to Begin on Public Lands

The Bureau of Land Management, Lassen National Forest and Lassen Volcanic National Park will soon begin fall burning programs in northeastern California.  Burning will begin when weather conditions allow for safe and efficient burning.  Area residents and visitors can anticipate seeing smoke and fire equipment activity associated with the following projects:

Bureau of Land Management

Crews from the Alturas Field Office plan to conduct the 1,700-acre Arrowhead prescribed burn near Nelson Corral Reservoir in northern Lassen County. Crews will burn on favorable weather days during October and early November to improve wildlife habitat, reduce fuel loads and improve livestock forage.  Smoke will be visible along the Highway 395 corridor from Alturas to south of Madeline.

The Surprise Field Office has several projects planned:

• The Cowhead, 11-Mile and Aspen burns will be conducted north of Fort Bidwell.  The pile burns will remove fuels cut during wildfire hazard reduction projects.

• The Fort Bidwell burn, just west of the community of Fort Bidwell is a 20-acre fuel reduction project to improve community wildfire protection.

• Near Fandango Pass, a 15-acre broadcast burn will restore wildlife habitat and reduce wildfire risks.  Pile burning will also take place in the area.

• Habitat restoration is the objective of the 60-acre 49 Camp project, about 14 miles east of Cedarville along Nevada State Highway 8A.

• The 424-acre Snake Lake prescribed fire about 10 miles south of Eagleville is designed to improve wildlife habitat.

• Crews will burn piles on a 1,280-acre project area 12 miles south of Eagleville.  The Newland project is designed to improve habitat and reduce wildfire danger.  The 100-acre East Hat pile burning project will take place in the same general area.

• Crews will also burn piles in the 120-acre Cottonwood project, 18 miles southwest of Eagleville.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

The National Park Service will continue to burn approximately 77 acres within the Loomis and Manzanita Lake prescribed burn area as conditions permit. The Butte Lake project is approximately 258 acres in the northeast corner of the park just east of Butte Creek to the park boundary. 

The Hole prescribed fire is a re-entry burn along the north side of the park and northeast of Raker Peak.  Depending on conditions this project will treat between 238-520 acres.  This is an understory burn with concentrations of heavy dead and down woody debris that will be ignited and then allowed to disperse within the project area (known as jackpot burning).  Officials anticipate burning in this area after significant rainfall has occurred.

Lassen National Forest

Officials from the Almanor Ranger District are planning three prescribed burns this fall. The first burn located approximately one to two miles west of the Prattville area and the southwest side of Highway 89.   This 100 acre underburn has potential for smoke to drift across Highway 89.  There will be traffic control along this road during the burning periods and motorists are advised to drive with caution as visibility may be limited.

Another project is a 400 acre underburn approximately five miles north of Westwood and adjacent to the west side of County Road A-21 in Lassen County.  Traffic control will be provided for while crews are burning along A-21 as drift smoke across the roadway can significantly reduce visibility for motorists.

For the third burning project, officials anticipate underburning 100 acres in the Brown Ravine area approximately seven miles southeast of Butte Meadows, two miles southeast of the Skyway Road in Butte County.  Additionally, crews will be burning slash piles left from timber harvest on up to 1,000 acres throughout the Almanor Ranger District when conditions permit through the fall season.

The Hat Creek Ranger District plans to underburn 1,000-2,000 acres in the North Coble area as well as Black's Ridge, South Station (in the Highway 44 area above Old Station) and Stonehenge, which is a joint project with the Lassen Volcanic National Park.  Crews anticipate burning several acres of piles throughout the district after significant rainfall is received.

The Eagle Lake Ranger District will be treating approximately 2,000 acres to reduce hazardous fuels and reintroduce fire.  Underburn projects will occur in the Grays Flat area (200 acres); Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest (200 acres); the west side of Crater Mountain (700 acres); the Dow Butte area north of Eagle Lake (300 acres); and in Upper Stephen's Meadow (25 acres).  In addition to these treatments, approximately 100 landing piles and 300 acres of hand piles will be burned, once significant rain or snowfall has occurred.

Burning on all projects will take place on permissive burn days.  Additionally, the agencies will coordinate with industry landowners, local air pollution control districts and agency managers in the areas surrounding the prescribed burn locations on burn days.

"This collaboration effort will limit the amount of smoke in the air at any one time," commented Tom Garcia, fuels officer for the Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Agencies use prescribed fires to reduce the accumulation of fuels, which may feed catastrophic wildfires. These fuels include dead and fallen trees, dead branches and brush.  Prescribed burning also allows plants to become healthier and stronger, renewing the food supply for animals.  The fuels consumed by fire release nutrients back into the soil. 

Prescribed fires also are used to create Defensible Fuel Profile Zones, areas where various treatments are used to remove highly flammable vegetation. This reduces the fire threat and more closely mimics the natural fire regime. These DFPZs are constructed strategically to improve suppression efforts and increase protection of communities adjacent to national forest lands.

More information on prescribed fires is available from Lassen National Forest offices in Susanville, Chester and Fall River Mills, or from BLM offices in Alturas, Cedarville and Susanville, and the Lassen Volcanic National Park in Mineral.


Susanville Interagency Fire Center
CAL FIRE   Lassen National Forest   Bureau of Land Management    Lassen Volcanic National Park