Those looking to get a Sierra hike in before the end of summer should check their route before traveling to the mountains as a number of fires are affecting the area.
The Summit Ranger District on the Stanislaus National Forest experienced multiple lightning strikes last weekend, resulting in more than 20 new single-tree fires. The weather forecast for the Forest calls for thunderstorms producing lightning strikes and significant high temperatures through the weekend.
A single-tree fire occurs when lightning strikes and ignites a single tree, which sometimes produces little or no fire activity around it. Six of these new fire starts are in the Emigrant Wilderness.
The fires are all in fire-adapted environments that rely on fire to reproduce and consume downed wood and timber litter. To allow this natural process, firefighters use low-intensity fires to burn under specific conditions. Four of the fires are being managed for multiple objectives, including firefighter and public safety, reducing large fuel accumulation and creating healthier, more diverse ecosystems. Firefighters from the Stanislaus, Sequoia, San Bernardino, Angeles and Los Padres National Forests, as well as those from the Tuolumne Band of the Me-Wuk Indians, are working together to manage these fires while keeping safety as the highest priority.
Visitors are encouraged to contact the Forest information desks to learn how trails and campgrounds may be impacted by the fires in the Emigrant Wilderness and the Highway 108 corridor. Please be aware of these fires and plan your trip to avoid areas experiencing fire activity. Fire managers use reconnaissance flights daily and our front desk staff can share the most up-to-date information available.
Currently there are no trail closures and no threats to infrastructure. Fire crews will continue to assess all trails. Future closures will be decided based on current and expected fire behavior. The fires may be visible from the high country, including the Emigrant and Carson-Iceberg Wilderness areas and may be seen from many viewpoints in the immediate area off of Highway 108.
Contact Ranger District offices or visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/stanislaus/ for more information.