Annual Prescribed Fire Operations to Begin Soon on the Eldorado National Forest

Placerville, CA…With the change in weather the Eldorado National Forest will switch its focus from wildfires to prescribed burning as weather conditions and resources allow. Beginning in November, fire managers will continue with the annual prescribed burn program.

“Prescribed fire is a valuable tool for achieving our goals of community protection, ecosystem health, and a productive working landscape,” said Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais “These low intensity, managed fires are designed to achieve specific goals depending on the area and resource needs; for example, to create a mosaic of diverse habitats for plants and animals, to help endangered species recover, or to reduce hazardous fuels thereby reducing the severity of future wildfires. “

According to fire managers up to 3,000 acres of national forest land is prepared and available to prescribe burn this winter and spring if conditions allow. This will be accomplished using a combination of understory and pile burning techniques. The actual number of acres accomplished will depend on weather and air quality conditions which limits the number of days that prescribed burning can take place.

Prescribed burning is planned for the following Eldorado National Forest locations throughout the winter and spring:

Amador Ranger District: understory burning in the Power Fire, View 88, Scottiago, Oski Bear, Mokey Bear, Lost Horse, Callecat, and Tiger Creek prescribed fire projects; and pile burning in the View 88, Power Fire Reforestation, Foster Meadow, Callecat, Copy Cat, Prospect Rock, Bear, Silver Lake WUI, Scottiago and CHIPS projects. For more information, contact 209-259-3774.
Georgetown Ranger District: understory burning in the Big Grizzly, Georgetown Maintenance, Tobacco Gulch, and Georgetown Compound prescribed fire projects; and pile burning in the King Fire Restoration Project (2Chaix, Caesar, En Garde, Younger, Longshanks, and Pompeii). For more information, contact 530-334-6477.
Pacific Ranger District: pile burning in the King Fire Restoration (Quidazoic), Trimburgh, Administrative/Recreation sites, John Don’t, and Cleveland Icehouse projects. For more information, contact 916-500-4712.
Placerville Ranger District: pile burning in the Silver Saddle, Marshall Mine, Iron Trap, Alder, Trestle, Raintree, Roadrunner (Highway 50 Fuel Break), Grizzly Trails, and Trestle projects. For more information, contact 530-644-2324.

A map of the burn project locations will be available on the forest website.

Prescribed fires are ignited after close evaluation of weather and fuel conditions, social, political, and economic considerations, and other factors that influence fire behavior and the ecological effects of fire.

“We are sensitive to the fact that smoke has an impact on people, particularly those with respiratory conditions and allergies,” said Fire Management Officer Nickie Johnny. “Efforts are made to ignite prescribed fires when weather patterns will disperse smoke more quickly, so it has less effect on populated areas.”

Project managers coordinate with state and local county air pollution control districts and monitor weather conditions to ensure that burning takes place on the best days for smoke dispersion. Smoke from prescribed fire operations is shorter term and less intense than during a large wildfire. Crews also conduct test burns before igniting a larger area, to see how effectively fuels are consumed and where smoke is expected to travel.

The Forest Service recommends that people with respiratory illness or adversely affected by smoke and living in or near the Eldorado National Forest should contact the nearest ranger station. These people will be placed on a “Sensitive Persons List” and will be notified of upcoming prescribed burning projects.

Prescribed fire updates will be posted on the forest Twitter account which can be viewed at Individuals who sign up to follow the forest Twitter account receive a message when new information is posted.

Project descriptions and maps of the burn units will also be posted on the Eldorado National Forest website at Look for the “Prescribed Burn Program” link on the right side of the page. Those who do not have personal social media accounts can also find the forest’s Twitter posts on the forest website. For more information, contact Teresa Riesenhuber at (530) 621-5223 or email at

The U.S.D.A Forest Service is an equal opportunity employer. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.