Tuesday, 28 May 2024

REGIONAL: Cal Fire plans Thursday control burn near St. Helena

ST. HELENA – The Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct prescribed pile burning on BLM property around the community of Berryessa Estates in Napa County starting on Feb. 5, and continuing on rainy days for approximately the next two months.


The prescribed burning will be conducted starting at 10 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. and will be located in and around Berryessa Estates. Smoke from the pile burning may be visible from parts of Napa and Lake counties.


The return of winter moisture will enable Cal Fire personnel to implement the vegetation management tool of prescribed burning for the purpose of burning piles of vegetation that were removed to create a shaded fuel break around the community of Berryessa Estates.


Prescribed vegetation management burns are carefully planned and controlled burns and must meet strict criteria of ecological benefit, weather parameters, smoke management, and fire safety guidelines. When all conditions (prescriptions) are met, trained firefighter’s burn, while monitoring the set criteria, fire behavior, and designated fire control lines.


Shaded fuel breaks are designed to reduce the threat to a community in the event of an unexpected wildland fire by removing shrubs, small trees, and down woody materials, but leaving large overstory trees.


By leaving the larger trees, the fuel break will maintain a higher degree of shade cover, lessening the rapid re-growth associated with direct sunlight and retaining higher fuel moisture in the fuels within the fuel break.


These projects are designed to remove the understory ladder fuels and the dead/down fuels that could become hazardous in case of extreme fire behavior. Shaded fuel breaks are often constructed in strategic areas along roadsides and ridgetops to provide firefighters with improved access to suppress unwanted wildfires and to manage prescribed burns more safely.


For more information about fire safety or prescribed fire and its benefits you may go to the Cal Fire Web site at www.fire.ca.gov or your local Cal Fire facility.


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