Lassen Volcanic National Park continues its multi-year Northwest Gateway Forest Restoration project (NWG) this fall. This includes mechanical treatment on 124 acres in the Lost Creek area and prescribed burning on 225 acres in the Manzanita Lake area.
Actively reducing fuels and restoring forest health increases wildfire resilience within these developed areas. A century of human suppression of wildfire has resulted in overly dense conditions and increased risk of severe fire. Treatment units contain or are adjacent to numerous facilities and infrastructure including campgrounds, historic buildings, and trails.
“This project addresses an immediate need to re-establish fire-adapted forests within the popular Northwest Gateway area,” said Superintendent Jim Richardson. “Areas treated by similar fuel reduction activities helped to moderate effects of the 2021 Dixie Fire within Lassen Volcanic, while effects in untreated forests were notably more severe.”
NWG project uses a combination of two fire management activities to restore forests to pre-suppression conditions and then maintain forest health by reintroducing natural fire regimes. The two-step process begins with one-time use of mechanized equipment to reduce live understory and ladder fuels. Three to five years later, firefighters apply prescribed fire to maintain forest health without further use of mechanized equipment.
Equipment may be visible in the Manzanita Lake and Lost Creek areas throughout the fall season. Additional equipment may be seen along portions of the park highway in the Summit Lake and Southwest areas. These areas are sections of a second project to remove hazard trees burned by the 2021 Dixie Fire. Be prepared for temporary traffic control and maintain a safe distance from equipment in all active work areas.
Firefighters will complete prescribed burning on 225 acres west and south of Manzanita Lake Campground as conditions permit. Be prepared for temporary smoke impacts during burn periods. Learn more about smoke impacts to air quality at go.nps.gov/lavo/airq.
The NWG project began in 2014 with the use of mechanical treatment to restore natural fuel loads on 564 acres near Manzanita Lake. In 2018 and 2019, firefighters reintroduced fire to 204 acres.
For additional information about the NWG project, visit go.nps.gov/nwg.