This week Bureau of Land Management personnel conducted a prescribed fire in the Hualapai Mountains southeast of Kingman, Arizona in cooperation with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The purpose of the project was to treat approximately 1,250 acres of dense chaparral brush to improve mule deer habitat, reduce the risk of dangerous wildfires, and improve forage for wildlife and livestock.
Firefighters at Lake Meredith National Recreation Area north of Amarillo, Texas (map) completed the 500-acre Mullinaw Crossing unit of a 4,500-acre prescribed fire project on February 21. So far 1,700 acres have been burned. The objectives are to decrease the amount of fuel that could burn in the event of a wildfire, thus minimizing the risk to surrounding communities, and to work toward the restoration of the mixed grass prairie that was native to the area before European settlement.
They had some help from their neighbors, including Chickasaw National Recreational Area, the Bureau of Land Management, and fire departments from Hutchinson County, Fritch, and Crutch.
All photos are provided by the National Park Service, including the one below that shows the area without a pesky fire in the foreground.
Julia Denning sent us this interesting photo of a February 28 prescribed fire on the Kisatchie National Forest near the Caroline Dormon Junior High School in Woodworth, Louisiana. I asked about the two signs in front of the school, wondering if there was also a U.S. Forest Service facility at that location. Ms. Denning explained:
There is no USFS facility at the school, but the land on which the school is built was donated by the Forest Service, hence the Smokey-style signs. The school itself was named in tribute to conservationist Caroline Dormon, who was instrumental in the designation of the Kisatchie National Forest in 1930.
In October she also sent us some excellent photos of a prescribed fire on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon. Thanks again, Julia.
(Updated at 4:35 p.m. PT, February 26, 2015)
The U.S. Forest Service Wednesday night on Twitter said the Stephens Fire had grown by 50 acres, to 250 acres. The fire is 17 miles east of Weed, California. The Incident Commander has estimated that the 100 personnel on scene will have a fireline around it, meaning the fire is contained, by February 28, which is a revision from Wednesday’s estimate of March 2.
(Originally published at 3:41 p.m. PT, February 25, 2015)
The Stephens Fire has burned about 200 acres in northern California, 17 miles east of Weed. It spread onto the Shasta-Trinity National Forest after escaping from a prescribed fire in Siskiyou County on private land.
According to the USFS Wednesday afternoon:
While the burned area has expanded outside the original planned prescribed area, positive effects to natural resources are being met and suppression forces are in place to limit additional spread.
Tuesday night strong winds were driving the fire, producing short-range spotting. On Wednesday the fire activity is expected to be moderate, according to the USFS, with possible spread south toward Stephens Pass Road and north toward FS Road 43N04.
The Incident Commander estimates the 100 personnel on scene will have a fireline around it by March 2.
Further to the south, on Thursday the National Park Service is planning to burn 60 acres of a 533-acre burn unit in the Wawona area of Yosemite National Park near the South Entrance.
Bob Eisele sent us these two time-lapse videos of a February 4, 2015 prescribed fire in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in San Diego County. He told us on Friday:
The area was abut 100 acres of hand cut brush (ceanothus palmeri) with logs and snags left from the 2003 Cedar Fire. The entire mountain burned in 2003 leaving no seed trees to restart the mixed conifer forest. Total ignition time was about four hours. The burn was conducted by the California State Parks in cooperation with CAL FIRE.
The area was planted this week with native conifers.
The video above is a time-lapse of a prescribed fire on Middle Peak in San Diego County, as seen from Cuyamaca Peak in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, February 4, 2015. Credit for the video goes to California State Parks employees.
The video below was shot by a camera on Mt. Laguna, which automatically replaces the image of the sun with a black dot. The camera is provided by the University of San Diego HPWREN.