BLM controlled burns reduce wildland fire risk near Lake Isabella and Chimney Peak

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Bakersfield Field Office


Central California DO

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Prescribed burn on a green hill side

LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. — The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office fire crews plan to improve the fire resiliency of the Chimney Creek Campground and Chimney Peak Fire Station, as well as create defensible space around the historic Keyes Mine by burning about 100 piles of fuels that could feed a wildland fire. Pile burn operations near Lake Isabella and Chimney Peak in Kern and Tulare counties are scheduled to start Tuesday, Feb. 1, and continue periodically until spring, depending on weather and air quality conditions, onsite observations and resource availability. The piles to be burned are smaller, so minimal smoke would be visible from Lake Isabella.

The prescribed fire is part of a fuels reduction effort to strategically thin downed hazard trees; eliminate dangerous ladder fuels, which can feed flames to the treetops; and remove overgrown brush and branches. The controlled burns will help increase protection of the wildland-urban interface for the community of Lake Isabella and around the fire station, as well as improve landscape health. Pile burning is done in the winter months to take advantage of cooler temperatures and higher moisture levels to prevent the spread of wildland fire.

The pile burn will help protect the Keyes Mine, which is a stamp mill developed by Rickard Keyes in the 1850s to process gold located within the Keysville Special Recreation Management Area. Burning will also benefit the Chimney Creek Campground, which sits among pinyon pines, grey pines and oak trees at 5,700 feet elevation along the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail in the Chimney Peak Recreation Area in the southern Sierra.

The BLM is committed to keeping public landscapes healthy and productive. Learn how to help protect the community by creating defensible space. Updates will be provided by BLM using the #RxBurn through its social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, please call the BLM Bakersfield Field Office at 661-391-6000.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.