Forest Service to begin prescribed burns near Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument

Local News

A picture taken March 09, 2014 shows Giant Sequoia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum) at the Giant Forest at Sequoia National Park in California. Five of the ten most massive trees on the planet are located within the Giant Forest. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images)

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Forest Service crews will begin prescribed burning operations in the areas of Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest.

Operations will begin on Wednesday and will continue for as long as the conditions allow, according to the forest service.

The service says the recent drought and increase in bark beetles have led to a near-historic level of hazard trees. Hazard trees are trees that have structural weaknesses that may lead to them falling over at any time.

“Prescribed fires are a vital tool for restoring forest health in a fire-adapted ecosystem. Fire is a natural and essential process that cannot be replaced by any mechanical means. Our forests have historically relied on frequent low severity fire as a necessary process resulting in a healthier forest by reducing accumulated vegetation and recycling valuable nutrients into the soil,” said District Ranger Jeremy Dorsey in a news release.

The prescribed burn comes less than a year after the KNP Complex fire, which burned nearly 5% of the world’s population of giant sequoias.

The forest service says smoke from the burns will be visible to the nearby communities. Crews will be working with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to help manage the impact of the smoke on communities.

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