Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks will burn off fallen trees and other potential fire materials on over 2,200 acres in the parks starting in late-April, the National Park Service announced.
A total of 11 prescribed burns and mechanical fuel reduction projects are planned for 2017. The first of nine prescribed burns will ignite up to 597 acres at Cedar East and Lewis Camp before the public opening of Cedar Grove. The rest of the burns are scheduled for late fall. Mechanical thinning on 207 acres around Wilsonia and the Lodgepole/Wuksachi area will help reduce hazardous fuel in those areas.
The Park Service said prescribed burns are conducted in order to better manage future wildfires. In 2016 there were 10 lighting fires in the parks, but only two, Sentinel Fire and Yucca Fire, were larger than an acre.
“To reduce risk from wildfire, a sustained investment and holistic approach is needed,” said David Allen, fire management officer for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
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Due to many factors such as air quality, local fire activity, fuel moisture and weather, the scheduled dates and times may change. Park visitors should be aware that fire and smoke may be present during their visit.
For a complete list of planned fueled projects visit the National Park Service website.