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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
Firefighters Treat 5,000 Acres of Marsh
Region 8, February 24, 2005
Using aerial ignition operations, fire managers from the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Tulelake, CA, treated over 5,000 acres of marsh units the past two days. Choked with Hardstem bulrush, units in Tule Lake NWR and Lower Klamath NWR require periodic treatments by prescribed fire to open areas to waterfowl nesting and loafing opportunities. Inaccessibility by vehicular means required the use of a helicopter, staffed with refuge firefighters qualified in aerial operations. Fire engines were used to supplement ground control activities, ensuring the fires remained within their prescribed boundaries. Numerous travelers on California Highway 161 stopped at a roadside vista point and along established refuge tour routes to view the burns, creating an opportunity for refuge firefighters to educate them on the benefits of prescribed burning. Understanding the nesting and loafing advantages prescribed fire offers to waterfowl, many observers were quite pleased with the management objectives and policies implemented by the refuge.

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov