Park undertakes fire thinning

Union Democrat staff

Fire crews in Yosemite National Park have begun two projects aimed at clearing dense vegetation that could fuel potentially catastrophic wildfires.

Yosemite fire managers announced that work began Tuesday on hazardous fuels reduction projects in the Hetch Hetchy and Foresta areas of the park.

The crews are cutting, piling and mechanically thinning vegetation including brush and shade tolerant conifers, such as cedar, white fir and ponderosa pine, according to the announcement. They are also clearing accumulated fuels on the forest floors, such as sticks and logs.

Residents or visitors in the area are advised they may see and hear chainsaws as well as crews cutting trees and piling brush for burning later in the year when conditions are cool and wet, fire managers said.

The Hetch Hetchy project is funded by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and is intended to reduce fuels near housing units, historic structures and other infrastructure near O'Shaughnessy Dam, the announcement stated.

Meanwhile, the Foresta project is part of ongoing efforts within the community to reduce hazardous wildfire fuels, according to Yosemite fire managers.

The latest thinning project is west of First and Second streets and being conducted by Cal Fire's Mount Bullion hand crew.

The National Park Service says these fuel reduction projects help preserve natural and cultural resources while also providing for public and firefighters safety. The projects create separation between hazardous vegetation and cabins, homes and the forest itself, NPS said.

When the projects are completed, residents and visitors will notice a clearer, more open forest reminiscent of what it looked like under natural fire conditions, according to officials.

"Dense forests are the result of fire suppression for over 100 years which increased the potential for catastrophic wildfire in the park," the Yosemite announcement said.

11882550
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Saturday April 29, 2017

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Beloved music teacher, actor dies at 64

04/24/2017

The local arts community is mourning the loss of Rick Restivo, a ... more

Several new businesses to open in downtown Sonora

01/26/2017

It’s shaping up to be a transformative year for the City of ... more

Former Stanislaus National Forest employee missing

04/26/2017

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team is continuing its ... more

Cannabis and Calaveras County

04/21/2017

Marijuana farms are tucked away on isolated mountainsides in Calaveras County, out ... more

Board to provide input on state, federal issues

04/14/2017

Expanding broadband Internet access, funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, ... more