Prescribed Burn Planned at Calaveras Big Trees State Park

ARNOLD, Calif. — California State Parks in cooperation with the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection (CAL FIRE) are planning to begin a prescribed burn on or around Thursday, June 13 to Friday, June 14, 2019 in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The goal is to complete the 41-acre Big Tree Creek segment A (see purple polygon on the map below). Ignition is expected to be completed in one day. The 41 acres were previously thinned, reducing the fuel loading and allowing for a safer and more controllable broadcast burn. Much of this work was funded through Propositions 84 and 1 grants from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, an agency of the State of California.

These burns are part of the prescribed fire program for vegetation management, hazardous fuel load reduction and wildlife habitat improvement. Prescribed burns enhance the health of the forest by removing diseased materials, restoring essential nutrients to the soil and reducing the chance of a catastrophic wildfire. Through forest thinning and reduction of fire fuels, an ecologically healthy forest system can be maintained. Additional benefits of this prescribed burn include protection for the North Grove of giant sequoias and the Big Trees Village subdivision.

Prescribed burns produce significantly less smoke than wildfires. To minimize the smoke impacts on surrounding communities, burns are planned and coordinated with the Calaveras County Air District. All burning depends on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable for smoke dispersal. If the conditions, such as weather or vegetation are not conducive for burning, the burns will be rescheduled.

Communities near Calaveras Big Trees State Park, including Dorrington, Big Trees Village, White Pines, Blue Lake Spring and Arnold may experience smoke from the burning operations. California State Parks is working with the Calaveras and Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control Districts to limit impacts to smoke sensitive areas.

Both Highway 4 and the Walter W. Smith Parkway will remain open but may experience delays
due to smoke and other hazards. Please obey all warning signs.