Smoky conditions cancel sports practice
Smoke in Carson Valley resulted in the cancellation of some outdoor youth sports practices on Monday night.
The smoke levels at the Gardnerville Ranchos air station peaked at 67 around 10 p.m. Monday night thanks to a fire burning near Caples Lake in the central Sierra.
With a red flag warning issued for Wednesday, foresters were racing to finish burning along the northern ridge above Caples Creek as part of a multi-year 8,800 acre prescribed fire within the Caples Ecological Restoration Project.
The warning is in effect most of Thursday on the Sierra’s west slope, with winds 15-30 mph, gusting to 40-50 mph at times.
Pacific Gas & Electric has issued a warning that dozens of California communities could be subject to a public safety power shutoff.
The power shutoffs are being done to prevent transmission lines from setting fires, as allegedly occurred in the Camp Fire a year ago that destroyed the town of Paradise, Calif.
“The project area is experiencing conditions that are cooler and moister than the area below 6,000 feet where a red flag warning is in effect this evening through Thursday,” foresters said on Wednesday. “Although the recent snow has melted, fuel moistures continue to be above normal and the Caples Prescribed Fire is burning slowly towards the creek, successfully meeting the fuel reduction objectives of the project.”
The PG&E power outage has resulted in the closure of Eldorado National Forest offices except Camino. Fire and essential personnel continue to work, however, forest offices are not open and phones are not operational.
This information line and Inciweb will be monitored and updated as information changes.
According to the Forest Service, crews were using hand ignition and burning toward the west to create blackline approximately 300 feet wide that will be used to control prescribed fire within the center of the Caples Creek watershed. The goal of the current burn operation is to reach the end of the ridge and tie into a dozer line.
The Caples prescribed fire is at 7,500 feet in elevation. Conditions in the project area are cooler and more moist than the area below 6,000 feet where the red flag warning is in effect for Tuesday evening through Thursday.
Although the recent snow has melted, fuel moistures continue to be above normal and the Caples Prescribed Fire is burning slowly in dead and dry fuels, successfully meeting the fuel reduction objectives of the project.
Pile burning along the ridge began Sept. 30 in wet conditions with snow and rain. These piles were created from hand thinning that was done over the last several years. Since last Monday, approximately 100 acres of burning has been accomplished.
Due to the active prescribed fire operations in progress, hiking on the Caples Creek Trail is not recommended, and a formal trail closure is being considered.