Fire managers from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have scheduled the first prescribed burn of 2020 in the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park. The fire will be ignited sometime before the end of May.
This is the second phase of the Cedar Central Prescribed Burn that was started in June 2019. At that time, 218 acres of the 463-acre project were burned.
The Cedar Central Prescribed Burn is located east of Moraine Campground, north and south of Highway 180, and on both sides of the Kings River. Ignitions for the remaining 245 acres are expected to take three to four days.
During this project, the approximately 20 assigned firefighters will be following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to mitigate the hazards and risks associated with COVID-19. Additionally, the National Park Service is working through established frameworks to consider prescribed burn impacts, including potential smoke impacts on people and communities who may be at risk.
“Cedar Grove is a very remote section of Kings Canyon National Park with little chance of public exposure to smoke this time of year,” said John Ziegler, parks’ fire management officer. “Conducting this project now, through active management, we are reducing our wildfire risk and ensuring the health of our parks for generations.”
Currently, the Cedar Grove area is closed to the public as are the rest of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks due to the coronavirus pandemic. If Cedar Grove is open during the ignition period, visitors are asked to drive slowly, use caution at night, and follow directions from firefighters and rangers. Additionally, visitors should expect to see smoldering logs and wispy smoke as fuels in the area continue to burn down after ignitions are over.
Historic fire return interval in this area averages every three to ten years. The purpose of this prescribed burn is to reduce hazardous fuel loading and maintain the natural fire cycle in Cedar Grove. The areas of focus were last treated between 2008 and 2011 .
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks work closely with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to coordinate and regulate smoke contributions to the airshed.
For more information about air quality in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks visit go.nps.gov/sekiair.
For regional information about air quality, visit www.valleyair.org.
For updates about the Cedar Central Prescribed Burn, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6353/.