Prescribed burns planned at Crater Lake
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
October 4, 2005
By LEE JUILLERAT
Recent snow and rain at Crater Lake National Park means that several prescribed burns will be done in the coming weeks.
Brad Reed, the park’s fire management officer, said the most visible project will be the burning of slash piles from the first phase of the Mazama Village hazardous fuels reduction project. Hundreds of piles of small limbs and branches have accumulated in and around Mazama Village, near the park’s south entrance.
Reed said the piles stem from efforts to reduce potentially hazardous fuels in the heavily visited, developed area. Over the next several weeks, fire crews will light and monitor the slash piles.
Park visitors may see smoke along Highway 62 and in the Munson Valley (park headquarters) area. He said fire managers will monitor smoke conditions to ensure motorist safety.
A second project is the Cornerstone-Phoenix prescribed burn in the park’s northeast corner. Burns will be done in two units covering 1,000 and 1,500 acres.
“If drier conditions return,” Reed said, “one or both of the units may be burned under carefully prescribed conditions to reduce unnatural fuel accumulations and help restore the natural role of fire in the park’s ecosystem.”
He said the projects are intended to provide public safety while helping to “restore the natural role of fire” to the park.
“Our fire management plan calls for numerous similar projects over the next five years as part of our overall strategy of managing prescribed fire, wildland fire use and fire suppression,” Reed said.
– By Lee Juillerat