The U.S. Forest Service has started increasing their annual prescribed burning operations on the Angeles National Forest to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire to people and communities across the Southland, foster a healthier ecosystem and minimize the effects of large wildfires on the landscape. When these burns occur, information signs will be posted along the roadways to alert the public to the burning activity and subsequent visible smoke in the area. Information will also be posted on forest/monument’s social media accounts Twitter.com/Angeles_NF and Facebook.com/ angelesnationalforest.
Forest fire officials implement fuels and vegetation management projects throughout the year, some of which are in preparation for the prescribed fires. These projects are a part of a continuing effort to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire and improve forest health. The prescribed fire program will continue through the winter and spring months as permitted by weather and other environmental factors.
When implementing these projects fire managers follow a burn plan that outlines the “prescription” or environmental conditions such as temperature, wind, fuel moisture, ventilation and relative humidity that need to be present before the project begins. When the criteria are met, crews implement, monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets the goals and objectives outlined by managers.
Prescribed fires including both understory and pile burning are intended to reduce the amount of vegetation, such as needles, small plants, brush, and small trees which can carry fire from the forest floor into the treetops. Studies and experience have shown that prescribed fires stimulate the growth of grasses, forbs and shrubs that provide food for deer, mountain quail and other wildlife.
The ignition of all prescribed burns is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment and appropriate conditions. Prescribed burn planning and execution area closely coordinated with the National Weather Service and Air Quality Management Districts in order to manage smoke production and to minimize impacts as much as possible.