This afternoon, Plumas National Forest firefighters will resume ignitions on prescribed burning in the Challenge area on the Feather River Ranger District, conditions permitting. Nearly 200 acres are planned on two units for treatment south of Challenge near Indiana-New York Road. Ignitions may continue tomorrow.
This prescribed burn is being done with ignitions planned around 2 p.m. and continuing to around midnight when fuel moistures are expected to increase and be less receptive to ignitions. Patrols will continue overnight. There are four hotshot crews, four handcrews, 11 engines and three water tenders working on the Challenge Prescribed Burn project, including the planned ignitions tonight.
The burn is being done later in the day and overnight due to predicted winds and keeping smoke from affecting Yuba Feather Elementary School in Challenge, which is still in session.
These units are open timber stands. This prescribed burn will help clean up fuels including ferns, blackberries, poison oak and pine needles, benefitting forest health. While the intensity will be less, there will still be smoke in the area, especially during ignitions.
Smoke is expected to be visible but not have significant long-term impacts to nearby communities, including Challenge, Brownsville and Dobbins. While conditions are hazy today, smoke may still be visible in the surrounding area. Short duration, minor smoke impacts are expected along Forbestown and LaPorte Roads and neighboring forest roads. Visibility on roads in the project areas may be reduced, especially early in the morning and late evening as smoke settles.
There will also be increased firefighting equipment traffic in the area. Drivers in the area should use caution, watch for fire equipment exiting and entering area roadways, and possible slow traffic.
If weather conditions become unfavorable, including increased or gusty winds in the area, burning will stop until conditions improve. Firefighters will be monitoring conditions throughout the operation.
Last week, firefighters successfully treated 125 acres as part of the Challenge Prescribed Burn project. Firefighters are continuing patrols from operations last week.