Thursday, November 12, 2020

Six Rivers Forest Fire Restrictions Lifted

Posted By on Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 3:26 PM

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The U.S. Forest Service has lifted all Six Rivers National Forest fire restrictions, including Cal Fire’s Humboldt Del Norte Ranger Unit’s Nov. 9 burn ban suspension, due to cooler weather and rainfall coming this weekend.

Area closures for the August Complex, Red Salmon Complex and the Slater Fire have been lifted as well with the exception of some Forest Service Roads on the Gasquet Ranger District.

 "We’re keeping some roads within the Slater Fire area closed for public safety while firefighters continue to fell and pile hazard trees, and spread straw mulch and seed over bare areas to help stabilize soils and mitigate the effects of the oncoming wet weather," says Jeff Marszal, district ranger for the Gasquet Ranger District and Smith River National Recreation Area.

With no fire restrictions, forest visitors may once again have open campfires outside of designated campgrounds as long as they have a valid California campfire permit.

Read the full press release below.

Six Rivers ends fire restrictions, ready for fall/winter burning

EUREKA, Calif. – Due to cooler temperatures and recent rainfall, as well as forecast heavy precipitation for the weekend, Forest Supervisor Ted McArthur has announced that fire restrictions for the Six Rivers National Forest have been lifted, effective immediately. This is in line with CAL FIRE’s Humboldt Del Norte Ranger Unit’s burn ban suspension on Monday, November 9.

In addition, fire area closures for the August Complex, Red Salmon Complex, and the Slater Fire have been terminated with the exception of Forest Service Roads 18N11, 18N11A, 18N11B, 18N11C, 18N11D, 18N30, 18N30A and 18N30B on the Gasquet Ranger District. According to Jeff Marszal, district ranger for the Gasquet Ranger District and Smith River National Recreation Area, “We’re keeping some roads within the Slater Fire area closed for public safety while firefighters continue to fell and pile hazard trees, and spread straw mulch and seed over bare areas to help stabilize soils and mitigate the effects of the oncoming wet weather.”

With no fire restrictions, forest visitors may once again have open campfires outside of designated campgrounds, provided they are in possession of a valid California campfire permit. The permit is free and available online at www.preventwildfireca.org.

“Even though we have ended our fire restrictions and most of our fire closures, we still need everyone to be extra vigilant with fire and in recently burned areas,” said McArthur. “While rain is in the forecast, forest fuels remain extremely dry, so the potential for new fire starts still exists. In addition, fire-weakened trees are just one of the hazards created from this summer’s fires.”

Lifting of fire restrictions and a change in the weather also mean it is time for fall and winter prescribed burning. Understory and pile burning reduces hazardous fuels that could contribute to extreme fire behavior should a wildfire occur. Prescribed burning will be implemented as fuel moisture and weather conditions permit.

“Despite the challenging and unprecedented fire season, the Six Rivers National Forest will begin evaluating opportunities to reduce future wildfire risk to our communities and ecosystems by conducting prescribed fire where and when conditions are favorable to do so,” said Josh Eichamer, acting assistant fire management officer.

Prior to initiating any prescribed burning, forest staff considers weather and environmental factors including fuel moisture, humidity, temperature, wind speed/direction, and smoke column dispersal and direction. The forest also works with the National Weather Service and the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District to maintain compliance with state and federal burning regulations in the North Coast area.
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Iridian Casarez

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Iridian Casarez is a staff writer at the North Coast Journal.

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