The Forest Service has scheduled a 120 acre burn starting as early as April 8, 2013 near Angelus Oaks as part of the Angelus Oaks Fuel Reduction project. The burn is to take place near Forest Road 1N12 (north of Angelus Oaks), and smoke will be visible along State Route 38 (and, certainly, other part of the forest communities as well!).
From the press release:
“Doing this work under these favorable weather conditions reduces the risk of a catastrophic wildfire threatening mountain communities under typical, dryer and windy conditions common to the area in the summer and fall fire seasons,” stated Front Country District Ranger Gabe Garcia. “The understory burn is part of a larger 535 acre project initiated in 2004 and will maintain that work we have all invested in to improve the survivability of Angelus Oaks,” Garcia added.
My understanding of what an ‘understory burn’ is is that it’s a low-intensity controlled burn that can only be done within a narrow climatic window – the conditions have to be right; not too dry, not too windy, etc. Sometimes these are done by aerial ignition in other parts of the world, but locally most of these prescribed burns are set by hand using drip torches.
These prescribed burns reduce the possible fuel loads, which reduces the intensity of wildfires, and releases nutrients which enrich the forest making it healthy.
A healthy forest is a happy forest!
You can read the press release HERE.