Tahoe National Forest will begin a prescribed pileburn along Cruzon Grade Road on the San Juan Ridge near Malakoff Diggins State Park. Fire and fuels personnel plan to prescribed burn up to 70 acres starting Jan. 17 with ignitions possible through Jan. 19. Smoke may be visible from the surrounding communities and some sections of Highway 20 and Highway 49.

Pileburn within the same project (Beartrap) completed on Jan. 4, 2024.
Pileburn within the same project (Beartrap) completed on Jan. 4, 2024.

Incident updates and any schedule changes will be announced on Tahoe National Forest’s InciWeb: https://inciweb.wildfire.gov/incident-information/catnf-tnf-yuba-river-pileburn-projects

Beartrap Unit F Pileburn

Yuba River Ranger District

Legal Location: T18N R9E Section 26

Acres: up to 70

Ignition Dates: Jan. 17 - Jan. 19, conditions permitting

Why Are We Burning?

The goal of this prescribed burn is to decrease the existing fire hazard and to prevent and reduce the impact of future fires in the area. Other benefits include enhancing wildlife habitat and reintroducing fire into a fire-adapted ecosystem.

Why Now?

Current conditions allow for prescribed burning. Each prescribed fire operation

follows a prescribed fire burn plan, which considers temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the dispersal of smoke.

This information is used to decide when and where to burn. The Tahoe National Forest strives to give as much advance notice as possible before burning, but some operations may be conducted on short notice.


Smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may continue for several days after an ignition depending on the project size and environmental conditions. Smoke may settle into the valleys in the evening and lift in the morning. The Tahoe National Forest coordinates with state and local county air pollution control districts and monitors weather conditions closely prior to prescribed fire ignition. Crews also conduct test burns before igniting a larger area, to verify how effectively fuels are consumed and how smoke will travel.