The Forest Service is planning to use prescribed fire in the Mt. Shasta area as weather conditions as temperatures moderate and humidity levels rise "to mimic the natural role of fire in the environment, create resilient forests, and to decrease future risk to life, property and natural resources.”

The Shasta-Trinity National Forest has announced plans to initiate prescribed fire operations as it gets colder and wetter this fall.

“As temperatures moderate and humidity levels rise, we can begin safely using prescribed fire in pre-determined situations,” states Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer Alex McBath in a press release. “Conditions must meet certain criteria, including weather and vegetation factors, before we will implement a prescribed fire or burn piles.”

Prescribed fire, according to the release, “is an important part of forest-wide hazardous fuels reduction efforts” and “a tool that is used to mimic the natural role of fire in the environment, create resilient forests, and to decrease future risk to life, property and natural resources.”

The use of fire in the landscape “promotes naturally occurring processes that native plants and animals rely upon. It affords opportunity for new growth to take place by removing dead and dying vegetation. At the same time, it decreases the threat posed by future wildfires and improves the resiliency of forest landscapes.”

Factor considered in the planning and implementation of a prescribed fire include: wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity and measurable moisture in vegetation.

Areas where prescribed fire is planned include:

• Around Trout Creek Campground, in the vicinity of Dry Lake and north of Bartle adjacent to the Harris Spring Road.

• Piles will be burned throughout the McCloud Flats, east of Mount Shasta, along the Everitt Memorial Highway, along the South Fork Road, and east of Castella.

Piles will also be burned in various campgrounds and Forest Service administrative sites.

Over the next several months the public may see smoke in various parts of the forest from prescribed fire activities. The projects may have some short-term impacts on air quality levels, however, the Forest Service says it “will comply with all local, state and federal air quality regulations and coordination with local air quality regulators will take place.”

Specific project location information will be available online at www.fs.usda.gov/stnf (select Prescribed Fire Notification) or http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/5/

Additionally, prescribed fire announcements will be placed at local Forest Service District Offices.

For updated information regarding prescribed fire call local District Offices.

• McCloud, (530) 964-218.

• Mount Shasta, (530) 926-4511.