Sonora, CA — While conditions are favorable, the Groveland Ranger District is planning an understory burn as early as next week.
Forest officials will be monitoring daily for healthy, effective burn conditions, according to Stanislaus National Forest (STF) spokesperson Rebecca Garcia. “We are going to be burning on approximately 546 acres with low-intensity fire…northeast of Greeley Hill, along Forest roads 1S29, 2S28 and 2S17.” She adds, “Smoke may be visible from Smith Station Road with some down canyon drift smoke visible in the evening and early morning. We expect that people will see the smoke and want them to know that this is 100 percent planned, prescribed, controlled burn and it is for the health and benefit of the forest.” Those who may see smoke in the area are requested not to call in their sighting as a wildfire.
Garcia shares that several more prescribed burns are in the works throughout the spring, as air quality, fuels moisture and weather conditions permit. “We have to be in a very narrow window for all of those three things, and as long as the conditions are right, we are going to continue to get excess fuels off of the forest. In order to make it healthier and less susceptible to wildfire.”
Pile burning in the Summit and hazard tree removals in the Mi-wok ranger districts, as previously reported here, are also on slate. Staffing up is currently underway, according to Garcia, in order to provide a prioritized, full response to felling dead and dying trees, due to the tree mortality emergency.