Klamath National Forest Fall/Winter 2021 Prescribed Burning
Recent cooler temperatures and precipitation have allowed fire managers to shift gears to implementing prescribed fire in the form of pile burns across the Klamath National Forest.
The ecosystems in the Klamath National Forest evolved with frequent mixed-severity fire. This essential component of the ecosystem was removed over more than a century of fire suppression, resulting in an unnatural accumulation of fuels in the forest. Prescribed burning is a tool the fire managers use to return fire to the landscape when conditions are favorable to reduce fuel loadings within ecosystems, making them more resilient to the effects from future wildfires.
Fuels reduction using prescribed fire is also an effective way to provide firefighters with safer places to engage wildfires when they occur. Prescribed fire treatments have been found to be successful in reducing flame lengths during subsequent wildfire events, providing increased opportunities for suppression operations. These effects make prescribed fire particularly useful as a treatment around communities and other values within the wildland.
The Klamath National Forest typically implements prescribed underburns in the fall and spring when conditions are favorable. Fall usually presents an ideal but short window for prescribed underburning, since the fuels are dry enough to carry fire, yet weather conditions have moderated enough to subdue fire behavior and precipitation events associated with winter are on the horizon. Pile burning typically happens later in the fall and winter, after enough precipitation has been received to prevent fire spread. This year the early arrival of plentiful amounts of precipitation precluded prescribed burning in the fall, so firefighters turned their focus to pile burning.
Siskiyou County residents and visitors may notice smoke from these projects in the coming weeks. If smoke is encountered on a roadway, please reduce your speed, turn on headlights, and watch out for any fire personnel or apparatus.
The following is a list of pile burning projects that are planned for each ranger district on the Klamath National Forest. Visit the 'News' section on this page for additional information on planned units and active operations.
Scott-Salmon River Ranger District: Just over one thousand acres of pile burning are planned across the district.
Craggy Project on Green Horn Ridge (170 ac.)
Cabin Meadows, east of Kangaroo Lake (10 ac.)
2016 Gap Fire, west of Scott Bar (25 ac.)
Scott Bar Station (10 ac.)
White's, Music Creek, Six Mile, Black Bear, and Bacon Rind areas (all within the 3 R's Project), between the North and South Forks of the Salmon River (456 ac.)
Petersburg Heli Project near Cecilville (93 ac.)
2020 Red Salmon Fire, near Godfrey (12 ac.)
Gunsight Peak and Straddler areas, northwest of Yreka (154 ac)
Deacon Lee, east of Eddy Gulch Lookout (6 ac.)
Happy Camp-Oak Knoll Ranger District: Fire crews from Oak Knoll will be targeting approximately 4,200 acres of pile burning.
2,181 acres are within the Craggy Project northwest of Yreka.
2,019 acres of pile burning will occur in the Horse Creek, Doggett Creek, and Round Mountain areas.
Further to the west, Happy Camp fire crews will be focusing on nearly 9,500 acres of pile burning. Pile units are located primarily in two areas: between the community of Happy Camp and Huckleberry Mountain, and between Seiad and Lake Mountain.
Goosenest Ranger District:
Fire crews will burn 300 acres of hand piles in the Black Rock Fire Management Zone as part of a shaded fuel break. This project is near Shovel Creek Meadow, north of Willow Creek Mountain.
In the Butte Mountain area, north of Martin's Dairy, 20 acres of machine piles are planned for burning.
Miscellaneous piles are located across the rest of the district, including the Veteran's Memorial, various administrative sites like campground and other facilities, and roadside piles near Bray.
Klamath National Forest Phone: 530-643-0945
Fire Unit Information
Klamath National Forest U.S. Forest Service 1711 S. Main St Yreka, CA 96097