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Hazardous Fuel Reduction Projects

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avatar Hazardous Fuel Reduction Projects
November 10, 2008 01:58PM
Yosemite fire crews, as well as contractors from Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression, Inc., will be burning piles on the west side of the Wawona Road between Mosquito Creek and Bishop Creek from now through November 22nd.

Contractors from Central Valley Forestry will be conducting a lop and scatter fuel treatment 300 feet wide on the west side of the Wawona Road between South Entrance and Wawona starting Friday.

Both projects will be ongoinhg through the weekends.

avatar Re: Hazardous Fuel Reduction Projects
November 12, 2008 04:08PM
Wawona Road (Hwy 41) Pile Burning and Road Side Thinning Projects - November 11, 2008

Current status: Yosemite fire managers are continuing with the roadside pile burning and thinning projects that began last week. The first project, pile burning, is along the Wawona Road, approximately 4 miles north of the Community of Wawona, between Mosquito Creek and Bishop Creek.

The second fuel treatment project is a 300’ roadside thinning, by lopping and scattering brush and other woody debris on the west side off the Wawona Road. This is along the Wawona Road from the South Entrance Gate to the area of the Wawona Golf Course. This project is projected to be burned in the spring of 2009.

Fire Managers are taking advantage of recent precipitation and good atmospheric air dispersion to conduct the pile burning. A high pressure system will return beginning Wednesday November 12, with higher temperatures and little air dispersion and with predicted moderate health concerns. It will result in fewer piles being burned for health reasons. It is predicted that Thursday and Friday will be “no-burn days” and no burning will be conducted.

Many of these piles consists of down and dead forest material (limbs, brush, etc...) and were first piled in 2004. There is a back-log of piles to burn. Pile burning is a cost effective method of removing burnable biomass from the forest floor. One hundred to 200 piles are burned on average each day. Each 100 piles roughly equal 1 acre in area. The primary objective for both of these projects is for defensible space.

Pile burning benefits: They are burned in the fall and usually after the first fall rains. The benefits of pile burning include opening scenic vistas along road corridors. It affords motorists greater safety by eliminating obstructive vegetation along highway curves. Pile burning also opens the tree canopy opening allowing the sun to penetrate to the road surfaces for earlier snow and ice melting. Pile burning also provides aesthetically pleasing results of being able to “see through the forest”.

When weather conditions are favorable, lower temperatures and higher humidity’s, combined with good air dispersal, pile burning is a relative quick way to restore fire dependent forest systems and reduce effects of catastrophic wildfire to Wildland Urban Interface areas. They create firebreaks that can be utilized for future prescribed and suppression fires. Fire Managers plan these kinds of fire treatments, in the off season with minimal staff. Although piles are extremely labor intensive, this is the most effective, including costs, to remove tons of bio-mass. As in any fire situation, safety is the first objective. If the surrounding litter and duff is not completely dry, pile fire will creep and broadcast into snags, trees and brush creating larger fires that must be suppressed. These projects will continue through the winter as conditions allow.

For additional information please contact:

Yosemite Fire Information - (209) 372-0480
Yosemite Prescribe Fire Office: - (209) 375-9574 or 9576
Yosemite Fire Management Website: http://www.nps.gov/yose/fire

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