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Prescribed burn to take place in Upper Bidwell Park on Monday

A controlled burn will be conducted by Chico firefighters in Bidwell Park all day on Monday, weather permitting.

Posted: May 16, 2021 6:43 PM
Updated: May 17, 2021 12:52 PM

CHICO, Calif. – A controlled burn will be occurring in Bidwell Park all day on Monday, weather permitting. The prescribed burn project for the park was postponed from a previously scheduled date.

The City of Chico Park Division is partnering with the Chico Fire Department for the burn operation.

The area that will be burned is grassland located north of Upper Park Road between Parking Areas B (Easter Cross) and C (Observatory).

If time permits the area between Parking Area A and B will also be burned.

For safety Parking, Lots B and C and the western portions of the Fence Line, Middle, and North Rim trails will be closed.

Closed signs will be placed at the trailheads and a park ranger will be at the main gate to answer questions. Monitors will also be at other locations in the park to answer people’s questions about the burn.

A Burn Permit has been issued and a Smoke Management Plan has been approved by the Butte County Air Quality Management District.

The purpose of the prescribed burn is to further the goals of the Bidwell Park Master Management Plan:

  • Use prescribed fire as a management tool to protect and enhance habitats and reduce the risk of catastrophic fires within Bidwell Park.
  • Eliminate undesirable or invasive plants that compete with or reduce native vegetation and/or degrade wildlife habitat for endangered or threatened species.
  • Improve the age, class, and diversity within existing mature, even-age stands of oak trees and other plant communities by encouraging young oak recruitment, which is another positive byproduct of fire.
  • Reduce the fuels and star thistle infestations along nearby roads, trails, and other park amenities to increase the safety for community members and pets who use the park daily.

Pyrogeographer Zeke Lunder of Chico said this is the largest burn in Bidwell Park in many years. Lunder works for Deer Creek GIS. He said he is “thrilled our City is embracing #goodfire.”

Deer Creek GIS wrote the burn plans and developed the projects under a contract from the Butte County Resource Conservation District, according to Lunder. He has been planning and implementing prescribed fires for more than 20 years.

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We'll be sunny with slightly above average temperatures again on Wednesday afternoon. The threat of thunderstorms will keep our fire danger high today, with more widespread thunderstorms Thursday. Dangerous heat returns this weekend and will persist through at least the start of next week.
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