Prescribed burn in Kirkwood area declared wildfire by Eldorado National Forest
Update 10 a.m.: The Eldorado National Forest this morning said winds and fire activity died down Thursday night and the fire is still within the planned burn project area.
The fire is at 2,143 acres.
The forest service said a “fire organization is in place and additional resources” have arrived on scene and more are on order.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A prescribed burn in the high country near Kirkwood, south of Meyers and South Lake Tahoe, was declared a wildfire Thursday afternoon by the Eldorado National Forest.
The announcement came Thursday afternoon at about 1:30 p.m. after fire managers made the decision “due to unfavorable weather conditions and inability to meet previously established objectives,” according to the forest service.
The fire began as a prescribed burn about 10 days ago under favorable conditions following rain and snowstorms, the press release said. It began as pile burning.
Smoke from that burn flowed into the Lake Tahoe area and comments on social media were critical of why the forest service would burn with a wind event forecasted a couple of days later.
The forest service said in the press release, “in anticipation of upcoming strong winds, fire managers begin building a fireline and conducting firing operations to secure the fire perimeter. Unfavorable conditions over the past few days prevented crews from being able to complete the firing operations contributed to the incident being declared a wildfire.”
The burn is part of a larger, multi-year forest restoration project. The goal of the project is to promote a healthy, resilient forest by reintroducing fire to the landscape, said the release.
The public is asked to avoid the area as firefighters and equipment are working to contain the fire.
For more information, visit the incident at inciweb.nwcg.gov/ncident/6622/