Controlled burns canceled at Bliss park |

Controlled burns canceled at Bliss park

Gregory Crofton

Squirrels, birds, porcupines, chipmunks and other wildlife won a battle they didn’t know was fought on Thursday after California State Parks canceled a controlled burn planned for the West Shore.

Members of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and The BEAR League hammered the state agency with calls protesting the use of fire at D.L. Bliss State Park during the spring when wildlife is nesting and most vulnerable.

“People called all morning and threatened to stand arm-in-arm across the park and not allow them to do this,” said Cheryl Millham, executive director of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care. “It worked. They’ve canceled the burn until August.”

The purpose of using controlled fire across 10 acres at the park this week or early next week was to burn the floor of the forest and lower limbs of trees in an effort to reduce fire danger and reintroduce fire into the ecosystem.

Ken Anderson, a senior ecologist for state parks, was in charge of the controlled burn project. Anderson on Wednesday said that recent snowstorms had left the forest damp enough for the controlled burn.

But on Thursday he did not return phone calls to his office. His message machine stated: “If you’re calling in regards to the D.L. Bliss or Sugar Pine burns, those burns have been called off due to fuel moisture conditions. We are rescheduling those burns for the fall.”

– Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at

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