Prescribed burns at Round Hill topic of meeting
The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit will host a public meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 6, to describe upcoming prescribed fire operations in the Round Hill area. The meeting will take place at Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District Station 3, 193 Elks Point Drive in Zephyr Cove, from 6-7 p.m.
The Forest Service plans to conduct prescribed fire operations on 79 acres bounded by Highway 50 to the east, Round Hill Pines resort to the north and Elks Point Road to the west and south, including Round Mound. The area has recently been treated to remove excess fuels and restore forest health. The prescribed fire operation will include both pile burning to remove excess woody materials, as well as understory burning – low intensity fire on the forest floor.
“A major goal of our fuels reduction and forest health projects is to create conditions that enable us to partially restore the role of fire in the Lake Tahoe Basin ecosystem,” said Kit Bailey, LTBMU Forest Service fire chief. “Low-intensity surface fire provides important benefits, such as clearing up surface fuels from the forest floor, triggering the growth of certain plants that depend on fire and improving wildlife habitat.”
The Forest Service has a detailed plan for implementing the project, which specifies the weather conditions under which crews would ignite the burn, safety precautions such as availability of equipment and personnel, and methods for managing smoke impacts.
“While we strive to burn under conditions that will carry smoke up and out of the area, residents and visitors should prepare themselves for some smoke,” said LTBMU burn boss Valerie Sweetland. “We understand that smoke from prescribed fire operations can be inconvenient and unpleasant, but we ask the public to understand that fire is a part of life in a forested community.”
The Round Hill prescribed fire operation is expected to last a few days. Because Forest Service crews will not begin prescribed fire operations until conditions are right, it is difficult to provide much advance notice. The Forest Service does maintain a notification list. To be added to this list or hear updates on prescribed fire plans, call (530) 543-2600.
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