A prescribed burn will be implemented this week at the Trail of the 100 Giants within the Giant Sequoia Monument in the Sequoia National Forest.
The trail in the Long Meadow Giant Sequoia Grove, has been has been severely impacted by seven years of drought and bark beetle infestation, forest officials said.
District Ranger, Eric LaPrice said pile burning, and chipping operations began Tuesday and will last last for several weeks.
The Western Divide Highway that goes to the Trail of the 100 Giants is currently closed. Alicia Embrey of the Sequoia National Forest said it will be at least a couple of weeks before it’s opened.
“Weather permitting, operations will be accomplished before the Western Divide Highway opens to the public and by Memorial Day weekend,” LaPrice said.
Over the last three years, crews have reduced hundreds of pine and fir hazard trees of varying sizes, some up to five to six feet in diameter, within the trail area. The long-term objective is to reduce the hazard trees and surface fuels, which during a wildfire, would threaten the Giant Sequoia grove.
The Trail of 100 Giants contains more than 120 Giant Sequoias greater than 10 feet in diameter and more than 1,500 years old. The Giant Sequoia Grove contains a 1.3-mile paved trail offering several loop options and various interpretive signs provided by the Giant Sequoia National Monument Association.
Smoke will be visible along roads and in nearby communities. Fire management personnel state they will work closely with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to manage smoke production and reduce the impact on communities, roads, and highways.