Fire fuel reduction efforts will be south of the Woodlake area, near Mile Marker 4 of the American River Bike Trail.
The Sacramento Fire Department will perform a series of controlled burns on 28 acres in the American River Parkway beginning tomorrow morning, June 26th, at 9AM. Burns will be performed from 9AM to noon each day, until all areas have been burned. The fire department has worked closely over the last several months with Sacramento County officials, Park Rangers, local utility companies, conservation groups, and other stakeholders to craft a plan to reduce fire fuels in the Parkway and preserve natural habitats.
An unusually wet winter has led to tall and dense grasses and vegetation in many areas of the Parkway. As the weather has warmed, these fuels are now drying out, creating an extreme risk of uncontrolled and catastrophic fires, threatening Parkway wildlife habitats, mature trees and riparian areas, and public safety. Using herbicides; mowing and discing; and livestock grazing, many other areas in the Parkway have already significantly reduced fire hazards. This particular area will be mitigated using live fire.
Studies have shown that areas of the Parkway that have previously been subjected to controlled burning recover well, and controlled burns are the industry standard for fire fuel reduction with fire agencies across the nation. The ability to burn these areas in a controlled and measured fashion is very important, as fire crews can use morning hours with low temperatures, low winds, and higher humidity to prevent the spread of the fire from outside of the prescribed area. An additional 13 acres have been identified as being a possibility for controlled burning if nesting birds in this area have fledged and are no longer present.
Weather, wind, and air quality concerns have been closely monitored and a permit for the burns is in effect from June 26th through June 30th. Crews will continue to burn this area throughout the week if conditions allow, until all identified areas have been mitigated. If weather, wind, or air quality conditions change, the burns will be cancelled. Neighborhoods and businesses in the area have been notified, and signs along Highway 160 and Business 80 will notify drivers of the controlled burns.