BLM to burn brush in Petrolia area

The Bureau of Land Management will be burning piles of brush and small trees in the coming weeks as part of a project to restore a coastal prairie near Petrolia.

The fire management specialists will burn the piles in late February and March, on days when weather and fuel moisture conditions allow for safe burning and smoke dispersion.

“We are focused on being a good neighbor in this burning project,” said BLM Arcata Field Manager Molly Brown. “Safety is our highest priority. We will burn only on cool and rainy days with low fire danger, and patrol the areas in the days following the burns to be sure the piles are completely extinguished.”

The Mattole Restoration Council created the burn piles on Prosper Ridge over the past several years as they removed trees and brush that have been expanding onto the coastal prairie.

“Our goal in this partnership is to reclaim grassland that has been lost to expanding stands of trees and brush,” said Jennifer Wheeler, a botanist with the BLM in Arcata. “Restoring the prairie provides necessary habitat for wildlife and returns areas for livestock grazing. The public will have better access and enjoy improved scenic vistas.”

Prosper Ridge is part of the King Range National Conservation Area. The BLM manages the area for a variety of uses including wilderness protection, public recreation and working landscapes.

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