Smoke is not expected to impact areas farther away such as the Kern River Valley or around Lake Isabella.

SPRINGVILLE, Calif., November 15, 2017— Sequoia National Forest personnel are preparing their fall prescribed burning activities on the Western Divide Ranger District in Giant Sequoia National Monument. Fire crews are planning to conduct burns when conditions become favorable. If weather conditions and smoke dispersal allow, burning may start this week.

The area targeted for burning is around the community of Ponderosa where more than 300 acres of hand piles consisting of small trees, brush, and limbs were created from a community wildfire protection project. The pile burning will lower the risk of wildfire, helping to protect the community.

Pile burning will also be conducted near the Forest Service cabins at Upper Grouse Valley, along the North Road (Forest Road No. 21S50), in and around the Trail of 100 Giants, and on the Lloyd Meadow Road (Forest Road No. 22S82) near the George Bush Tree Trailhead. As conditions allow, pile burning will continue through the winter months.

Forests need the frequent, low-intensity fire to remove accumulated smaller fuels and recycle nutrients into the soils to promote healthy vegetation and wildlife habitat. A healthier forest is a safer forest for firefighters and residents when wildfires inevitably occur.

Local communities such as Ponderosa, Camp Nelson, Johnsondale, Sequoia Crest and Alpine Village may have smoke impacts for short durations from burning operations. Smoke is not expected to impact areas farther away such as the Kern River Valley or around Lake Isabella.

Prescribed fires are essential tools for restoring the forests in our fire-adapted ecosystem, and smoke is an unavoidable byproduct of these vital efforts. Fire managers strive to minimize smoke impacts to the community as much as possible. Fire officials will work closely with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to manage smoke production and reduce any local impacts.

Projects are dependent upon weather and wind conditions and will be canceled if conditions are not suitable.