Contact: Philip Oviatt, Bureau of Land Management, Bakersfield Field Office
Phone: (661)432-4253

BLM to reduce wildland fire risk for Case Mountain giant sequoias

THREE RIVERS, Calif. – The Bakersfield Field Office plans to conduct prescribed fire operations of up to 1,000 piles of downed hazard trees, branches and understory brush at Case Mountain Extensive Recreation Management Area, southeast of Three Rivers, Tulare County, to prevent wildfire risk.

Pile burn operations will start as early as Wednesday, Nov. 29, and continue periodically until spring, depending on weather and air quality conditions, onsite observations and resource availability. Burning will take place only when weather and fuel moisture allow for safe and successful operations. The burn is being closely coordinated with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Smoke may be visible in Three Rivers.

“Partnerships are vital to managing sustainable, working public lands,” stated Bakersfield Field Manager Gabriel Garcia. “The prescribed burn is being done as part of a CalFire grant and a joint effort of the BLM, CAL FIRE, Tulare County Resource Conservation District, tribes, private landowners and technical experts.”

The prescribed burn is part of a multi-year fuels reduction effort in the Bureau’s only giant sequoia groves to strategically thin trees; remove ladder fuels, which can feed flames to the treetops; and remove needles, branches and brush on the forest floor. The prescribed fire will help increase protection of the wildland-urban interface for the town of Three Rivers in Tulare County and improve landscape health and remove hazardous fuels near giant sequoia trees that could feed wildland fire at the recreation area.

Case Mountain encompasses approximately 18,500 acres of BLM-managed public lands and supports many sensitive plants and animals, important riverbank ecosystems, areas of cultural significance, and a 400-acre Giant Sequoia Complex with six distinct giant sequoia groves. The BLM is committed to keeping public landscapes healthy and productive.

For more information, please contact the BLM Bakersfield Field Office at 661-391-6000, or visit the website.

[SOURCE: Bureau of Land Management]