Prescribed burn turns into wildfire

Prescribed burn turns into wildfire

6 May 2009

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The Nugget fire started off as a way to help the forest and help wildlife.

“It was meant to create a mosaic, to burn in unburned areas to give an edge effect for wildlife, which they like,” says Coronado Forest Spokeswoman Heidi Schewel.

The proposed 1,700 acre burn was supposed to break up the tree canopy and let in more light.

The forest service started the fire Monday morning.

“Things were going well, things were burning well until the afternoon when the wind picked up,” Schewel says.

That’s when the planning stopped and Mother Nature took over. Embers crossed the fire line and started two other fires.

“Fire management made the right call and switched management and declared this a wildfire,” Schewel says.

They already had the resources in place to fight it.

“We are not going to pursue this as a prescribed fire at this time. We are going to treat this as a wildfire. It’s being suppressed,” Schewel says.

And even though it didn’t work out entirely as planned, they burned 100 of the 1700 acres they planned on burning.

The forest service is going to stay on this until all the smoke and fire is gone.  They more resources available if they need them.

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