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Fire personnel from California State Parks are planning to conduct a 13-acre prescribed burn near the observation platform at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park on Monday, June 10, with alternate dates of June 11 or 12.

All burning depends on weather and air quality conditions favorable for smoke dispersal. If the conditions are not conducive for burning, the burn will be rescheduled.

Ignitions are scheduled to occur between 8am and 5pm. Powder Mill Road, Ridge Road and Pine Trail may be closed during the burn operation. Visitors will be rerouted during this time.

During the days following ignition, the burn will be monitored 24 hours a day.

This burn is part of a long-term strategy to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire and to maintain rare ponderosa pine sandhills habitat. This rare habitat type relies on fire to maintain a healthy ecosystem and regenerate sensitive species. Treatments enhance the health of the ecosystem by removing fuel buildup and restoring essential nutrients to the soil.

The project is being conducted in accordance with a Smoke Management Permit issued by the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District to minimize the smoke impacts on surrounding communities. Drivers on Graham Hill Road, campers and nearby residents should expect to see smoke from June 10-12, and it should be no cause for alarm.

The Henry Cowell area has been the scene of numerous human-caused fires over the past several years. The expansion of this project, in addition to environmental enhancement, provides increased fire protection for nearby residential areas.

Prescribed burns produce significantly less smoke than wildfires. Should the public see or smell smoke in their surroundings, officials recommend avoiding strenuous outdoor activity and remaining indoors as much as possible. These precautions are especially important for children, the elderly and people with respiratory and heart conditions. 

For more information, call the Santa Cruz District prescribed burns hotline at 831-216-6459 or visit

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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