Bureau of Land Management wildland firefighters will be burning approximately 150 piles of brush and tree limbs at three locations on roughly 15 acres of public lands in Kern and Tulare counties near Lake Isabella starting this month. The goal of the prescribed burn is to reduce hazardous fuels and help protect communities. The timing of burn operations will depend on staffing, weather and air quality conditions.
Crews will be continuing a project started in spring 2019, by removing piles created from clearing defensible space and cutting fuel breaks to protect the Keyes Mine in the Keysville Special Recreation Management Area, near Lake Isabella.
Wildland firefighters will also be burning piles to reduce hazardous fuels on public lands adjacent to the Pala Ranches in Wofford Heights. The prescribed burn is expected to last one week, and smoke may be visible throughout the Kern River Valley, particularly near Lake Isabella, Wofford Heights, and Kernville.
Roughly a dozen piles are also expected to be burned as part of a one-day, clean-up and maintenance of the Atwell Island Restoration Project located on the southern edge of Historic Tulare Lake. Atwell Island encompasses 8,000 acres of farmland that has been restored to native valley grassland, which now provides one of the few remaining wetlands in the San Joaquin Valley. It is an important wintering area for migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds and other water birds. Smoke may be visible near the community of Alpaugh.
The BLM is committed to keeping public landscapes healthy and productive by implementing a multi-year, phased approach to reduce the risk of wildland fire and promote forest health. Treatments including pile burning, logging, cutting and chipping of hazard trees, creating defensible space, and removal of overgrown brush and dangerous fuel loads. To learn more about the BLM Fire and Aviation Program, visit www.blm.gov/programs/fire-and-aviation.
To plan a trip to a BLM-managed recreation site, visit https://www.blm.gov/visit. For specific questions, please call the Bakersfield Field Office at 661-391-6000.