Friday, March 28, 2014

Prescribed fire at Hetch Hetchy

Prescribed burn near O'Shaughnessy
Dam.  Photo courtesy of Yosemite
Fire Management.
National Park Service and US Forest Service fire crews completed a 57 acre prescribed fire near O'Shaughnessy Dam today.  The combination of recent rains, minimal snowpack, and slightly unsettled weather made for ideal prescribed fire conditions; these conditions typically don't exist in March due to snowpack and wet fuels. The fire treated vegetation and fuels around the buildings and other infrastructure near O’Shaughnessy Dam, and was designed to reduce surface and “ladder fuels” that allow ground fire to leap to the tree canopy and cause crown fires. The treated area will offer a “fuel break” for firefighters to safely protect structures at the O’Shaughnessy Dam.   The area burned with low intensity during the 2013 Rim Fire.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Colorado River Delta re-watered by pulse flow

Seasonal high flow water releases, or pulse flows, are increasingly used to simulate natural hydrology and manage river habitats downstream of dams and diversions. Beginning March 23rd and continuing for eight weeks, about 1 percent of the Colorado River’s waters will be released into the Colorado River Delta in Mexico.  The release is part of a five-year pilot project designed to restore the delta environment and is part of an amendment to a decades old treaty between the United States and Mexico on management of Colorado River water.  Read more online.