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BLM Pile Burning To Start In Mother Lode

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Sonora, CA – When the weather cooperates this winter and into the spring the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Mother Lode Field Office will set ablaze debris piles in three neighboring counties.

While no exact dates have been set, roughly 150 acres of public lands in Tuolumne, Calaveras and Mariposa counties will be involved in the pile burning.

“These low-intensity fires are designed to reduce wildfire danger by removing fuels, reducing fire threat and increasing forest resiliency,” says Mother Lode Field Manager Elizabeth Meyer-Shields. “Prescribed fire is an important tool that allows the BLM to meet fuels reduction goals in a cost-effective and ecologically-sound manner.”

In Calaveras County, piles on 75 acres will be ignited in the South Fork Mokelumne Project and the Lily Gap Project. This could produce smoke in Barton, Glenco, Pioneer, Volcano, West Point, and Wilseyville. These projects are being done in partnership with the Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.

In Tuolumne County, five separate piles will be set ablaze on 35.5 acres south of the Big Oak Flat area near Groveland. Smoke may be possible in both of those areas. Additionally, the burning in Mariposa County will be located off Highway 140 near Briceburg and Midpines with four piles to be burnt on 35.5 acres. Once again, those areas could see smoke.

BLM officials stress that fire crews will only ignite pile burns when weather and fuel conditions allow for safe and successful burning and smoke dispersion. Further questions regarding the burns can be addressed to the BLM Mother Lode Field Office during regular business hours at 916-941-3101.