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Forest Officials Plan Burn Near Salt Springs Reservoir

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Calaveras County, CA — Calaveras Ranger District officials say an underburn set to ignite this week may be visible from Highway 4 and nearby communities.

The Stanislaus National Forest’s prescribed Moore-Bellfour Underburn, which may involve 300 to 800 acres, is described as a project area located along Forest Road 7N09/Cabbage Patch Road, south of Salt Springs Reservoir.

Officials say fire managers are working closely with local air districts and the California Air Resources Board to mitigate the effects of smoke on the public. The underburn may begin as early as Thursday and will continue in blocks through fall as long as conditions such as weather, fuel moisture, and air quality allow.

As the project as a planned burn, residents and visitors are asked not to report it as a wildfire.

Forest officials explain that prescribed low-intensity fires, such as this one, enhance wildlife habitat, protect and maintain water quality and soil productivity, improve forest ecosystem health, and reduce the threat of uncontrolled conflagrations. They point out that the Sierra Nevada is a fire-dependent ecosystem, where fire is a critical part of the natural forest process and helps to maintain resilient forests. The public benefits of the burns described as an effective, cost-efficient method of reducing the buildup of flammable forest fuels, reducing the threat of large and damaging wildland fires, and improving firefighting capabilities.