Sequoia National Forest Press Release November 8 2023
Trail of 100 Giants Prescribed Burn PlannedGiant Sequoia Emergency Response
Sequoia National Forest fire managers plan to initiate pile burning within the Western Divide Ranger District’s Trail of 100 Giants. Ignitions are planned for Wednesday, November 8 and will continue through Friday, November 10 depending on weather conditions and resource availability. During this time, visitors will encounter temporary closure of the trail for public safety.Sequoia National Forest fire managers use prescribed fires to manage vegetation, reduce fuels, and restore more natural ecosystems. This fire is specifically planned to reduce the potential of a wildfire due to excess fuels within the Trail of 100 Giants, Long Meadow Grove.
Sequoia National Forest’s land management strategies include long-term forest health, reducing forest fuels, and using prescribed fire on the landscape. “By using low fire behavior, we are reducing hazardous fuels while lowering the threat of high-severity, high-intensity wildfire within the trail system,” said District Ranger Chris Sanders. “In addition, we are taking advantage of cooler fall weather conditions, and the seasonal closure of Redwood Campground adjacent to the trail to conduct pile burning operations.”The burning activities is part of the Giant Sequoia Emergency Response is an ongoing effort that USDA Forest Service Chief Randy Moore approved on July 22, 2022, to expedite the implementation of approximately 13,377 acres of fuels reduction treatments in 12 giant sequoia groves (11 Sequoia National Forest groves and a Sierra National Forest grove). The objective of this emergency response is to reduce the wildfire risk that currently threatens the Giant Sequoia groves. To date, crews have reduced fuels on more than 1,500 acres in 11 Sequoia National Forest groves, over 4,400 giant sequoias have been treated, and more than 7,600 piles have been prepared for prescribed burning.
Wildfires have killed almost 20% of the largest giant sequoia trees in the world in the last few years. Giant sequoias need low to moderate-severity fires to be healthy; however, fire exclusion over the previous 150 years and expansive tree mortality from drought have created conditions putting most giant sequoia groves in the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument extremely vulnerable to high-severity fire. This project focuses on the 11 sequoia groves at the highest risk of stand-replacing fire in the short term.
Forest personnel are working closely with San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to manage smoke production and reduce the impact on communities, roads, and highways. Crews will remain on-site to closely monitor conditions and manage any potential risks. Although piles may smolder and burn for several days after ignition, crews will monitor them until they are declared out.
For more information about the Giant Sequoia Emergency Response, contact Gretchen Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay informed by following the Sequoia National Forest webpage at www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia, Facebook @SequoiaNF, and Twitter @sequoiaforest.
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