Due to the recent rains, cooler temperatures and projected forecasts, the Sierra National Forest is ending the 2012 fire season Saturday and beginning winter operations.
The end of fire season means that seasonal firefighters are released for the winter, fire lookout towers are unstaffed and high country fire stations are closed until next spring.
“Fire staffing will be continuously monitored and maintained on a call-when-needed basis,” said Dean Gould, acting Forest Supervisor, Sierra National Forest.
The Sierra National Forest experienced light-to-moderate fire activity this season with 48 human and 28 lightning caused fires, burning a total of 897 acres. All fires were quickly controlled by Forest Service firefighting resources.
California and much of the Western United States experienced heavy fire activity in 2012 due to drought conditions. Firefighting resources from the Sierra National Forest stayed very active assisting with suppression efforts. Sierra National Forest personnel have just returned from assisting with recovery efforts on the East Coast due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
During the winter months, fire crews work on fuels reduction projects, trail-work and other various ecosystems restoration projects to enhance forest health and reduce the likelihood of uncharacteristic wildfire