Forest Service prescribed burn continues south of Shaver Lake

The Fresno BeeJanuary 25, 2014 

A prescribed burn is continuing south of Shaver Lake in the Blue Canyon area near Barnes Mountain, officials with the Sierra National Forest's High Sierra Ranger District said.

The prescribed burn was ignited in late November and was mostly inactive throughout most of December and January. Dry conditions rekindled the fire on Jan. 22, officials said.

The burn is primarily intended to keep the forest healthy and reduce the intensity of other potential fires, officials said. However, this blaze is also part of an ongoing, two-year research project to study the habitat of Pacific Fisher dens and how they respond to fire.

Unlike wildfire, prescribed burns are ignited and managed under very specific weather conditions, and closely monitored to reduce the spread and intensity of flames. Fire crews are on scene to make sure the fire stays within determined boundaries.

Smoke from the fire may be visible from Highway 168 along the four-lanes section at about 4,000 foot elevation, as well from Burrough Valley and the central San Joaquin Valley on clear days.

The High Sierra Ranger District is working closely with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control Board to minimize smoke impacts to communities.

For more information or questions, contact district fire management officer Carolyn Ballard or fire specialist Tomas Gonzalez at the High Sierra Ranger Station in Prather at (559) 855-5355.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6386, cgeorge@fresnobee.com or @CarmenGeorge on Twitter.

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