CARSON CITY — As part of the Carson Ranger District’s Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest fire crews will use prescribed fire to burn brush and understory vegetation in Dog Valley, 10 miles west of Reno in Sierra County, California. These prescribed fires will begin on April 20, 2010, and continue through May 15, 2010, weather and fuel conditions permitting.
“Prescribed fire is an efficient way of removing excess fuel, vegetation such as grass, brush, or trees, that fuel a fire,” said Steve Howell, Carson Ranger District Fuels Specialist. Howell also said that the prescribed fire will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and reduce the risk to firefighters in the event of a large-scale fire. Benefits of this burn will improve forest health and wildlife habitat by creating open areas. These newly opened areas in the forest will enhance meadow areas by removing encroaching conifers and also enhance mule deer habitat and their winter range.
Fire crews are currently monitoring weather conditions to select optimal timeframes to most effectively and cautiously burn brush and understory vegetation. Forest Service hand crews and engine staff plan to treat approximately 150 acres of understory vegetation in Dog Valley. Ignition is expected to take five days; weather conditions and the moisture in the fuels are key factors for a successful prescribed burn. Prescribed fire notices have been posted near homes by the project area. Visitors and residents can expect to see smoke when the burns are occurring.
Visitors in the Dog Valley area may experience delays in travel near the burn.
This project may have some short-term impacts on air quality levels; air quality levels will comply with all state and federal air quality regulations. Any burning activity will be accomplished during weather conditions that would minimize impacts of smoke on communities. All burning will be occur within parameters set forth in an approved burn plan and conform to the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District and Washoe County Air Quality District standards. For more information on this release, contact Steve Howell, Fuels Specialist, at 775 884-8114.