Los Padres to Begin Implementing Prescribed Fire Activities

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Source: Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres National Forest officials [on Thursday] announced plans to begin implementing their annual prescribed burning operations on the Forest over the next few months. When favorable weather conditions are present, specific project locations and dates will be shared on the Forest’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The objectives of the projects are to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire to people and communities, create conditions which offer a safer and more effective wildfire response, foster more resilient ecosystems, and minimize the effects of large wildfires on the landscape.

When implementing these projects, fire managers follow a burn plan that outlines the “prescription” or environmental conditions such as temperature, wind, fuel moisture, ventilation and relative humidity that need to be present before the project begins. When the criteria are met, crews implement, monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets the goals and objectives outlined by managers. The prescribed fire program will continue through the winter and spring months as permitted by weather and other environmental factors.

Prescribed fires including both understory and pile burning are intended to reduce the amount of vegetation, such as needles, small plants, brush, and small trees which can carry fire from the forest floor into the treetops. Studies and experience have shown that prescribed fires stimulate the growth of grasses, forbs and shrubs that provide food for deer, mountain quail and other wildlife.

The ignition of all prescribed burns is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment and appropriate conditions. Prescribed burn planning and execution are closely coordinated with the National Weather Service and Air Quality Management Districts in order to manage smoke production and minimize impacts as much as possible.

When these burns occur, information signs will be posted along the roadways to alert the public to the burning activity and subsequent visible smoke in the area.

For questions on the Los Padres National Forest prescribed fire program, please contact Fuels Management Specialist Rebecca Dykes at (805) 961-5764.

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Yeti Feb 08, 2021 11:32 AM
Los Padres to Begin Implementing Prescribed Fire Activities

It is so funny and sad how political all sectors of our government is and it is funny to see the National Forest ( Department of Agriculture) do a complete 180 degree change to prescribed burning of the forest. They used to swear off any burning or letting a fire burn itself out if no structures were threatened... Not a surprise since there is so much money in favor of not burning. All of the firefighters and contractors that run food, ground and air support for fighting big fires are the only losers in this scenario. Lets just see how long the government can do the right thing and does another 180 on policy due to politics.. again. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be saved each year in California as a result.

pstarSR Feb 08, 2021 03:51 PM
Los Padres to Begin Implementing Prescribed Fire Activities

Although granted doing a 180 is weird. could doing a 180 be because the other way wasnt working? We always evolve our tactics, and im sure a lot of thought went into this. but..... we shall see if this changes the severity of the wildfires we have come so accustomed to.

Chip of SB Feb 09, 2021 08:10 AM
Los Padres to Begin Implementing Prescribed Fire Activities

The national park service saw the light and made the 180 back in the 70s. Nearly 50 years ago it had been shown that frequent fires were a natural process and the national park service had to allow fires to burn in order to fulfill its mission of preserving parkland in its natural state. The problem is the transition back to the natural regimen of frequent fires is very difficult due to the immense build up of fuel caused by decades of human intervention suppressing fires. The national park service has made great progress in returning its land to a more natural condition since it began allowing fire to return to its land. Unfortunately, the policy of absolute fire suppression continues to this day for the vast majority of California’s forested lands both public and private. This is the reason fires have become increasingly destructive when they do occur. There are plans in the works to rapidly increase planned burns in the years ahead, but it will likely take decades to restore the natural cycle of fire to our landscape and heal the immense damage caused by human intervention in the form of fire suppression.

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