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Forest Service Fuels Reduction Project & Trail Closure Set for Whites Creek

By ThisIsReno

USFS LogoCARSON CITY, Nevada…The Carson Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest will soon conduct an understory prescribed burn to reduce forest fuels in the Arrowhawk Project area, off of Mt. Rose Highway (State Route 431).

The project will occur near the Whites Creek Trailhead, off of Timberline Drive, within the wildland urban interface in Washoe County, Nevada, over the next two months, weather permitting.  The project area is approximately 30 acres in size and may take 2-to-4 days to complete.

“Prescribed fire is an efficient way of removing woody debris and forest litter, while providing ecosystem benefits, and reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire and risk to firefighters in the event of a large fire,” said Steve Howell, District Fuels Specialist.  These burns will also improve forest health and wildlife habitat.

Fire personnel are currently monitoring weather conditions to identify optimal timeframes for effective prescribed burning conditions.  Prescribed burn notices have been posted near residences near the project area notifying them about the upcoming prescribed burn.  Visitors and residents can expect to see smoke when the burns are occurring.

Residents can expect to see some brown needles on the lower portions of tree crowns following burning activities and some tree mortality.  These effects are all part of the objective of the burn.  Trees with brown needles on the lower sections of the crown following the burn are not dead; these brown needles will fall off over time.  The objective is to allow for fire to naturally prune the tree’s crown, lessening the chance of mortality in a large wildfire.

This project may have some short-term impacts on air quality levels, but 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 is done within parameters set forth in an approved burn plan and conform to the Washoe County Air Quality District.

Whites Creek trail users can expect to see trail closures in the area during the project.  People are encouraged to stay out of the area due to prescribed burning activities and equipment working near the burn.  Residents can expect to see and smell smoke during the burning activities.

Learn more about this release by contacting Howell at 775-884-8114.