Controlled burns set for Monday at Crater Lake
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
June 16, 2002
Crater Lake National Park plans to begin a controlled burn Monday.
About 32 acres will be burned over a two- to four-day period in the ponderosa pine/mixed conifer forest in the southwest corner of the park.
The prescribed fire, designated the PH-3 project, is being used for a research project. Four- to eight-acre blocks will be burned under a variety of conditions.
This week’s burning will be part of the “wet spring” conditions and be followed by “dry spring” burning in coming weeks. Information from the burns will allow park resource managers to refine treatments and better meet the objectives of ecosystem restoration and hazardous fuel reduction.
The PH-3 project is also a priority treatment area for hazardous fuel reduction and ecosystem restoration.
Park spokesmen said aggressive fire suppression over the last 100 years has allowed the encroachment of shade-tolerant trees and has created an unnatural accumulation of fuel. The change has increased the risk of intense wildland fires that jeopardize the safety of fire fighting personnel, park visitors, and old-growth ponderosa pine forests.
Smoke from the PH-3 fire will be visible from the Upper Klamath Lake area and may cross Highway 62 near the south entrance to the park. Traffic will be controlled near the burn area and may be shut down for short periods of time.
Nighttime smoke may settle into the Fort Klamath area.
Although the greatest impacts from smoke will occur during the ignition of the burns, some smoldering of fuels will continue to produce small amounts of smoke for about a week.
Park spokesmen said all prescribed fires in the park will follow National Park Service policies and be conducted with regard for public and fire fighting safety.