RENO, Nev. (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service is stepping up the use of prescribed burns in the Sierra to help lower the threat of large, catastrophic wildfires.
Steve Howell, a fuels specialist in the Carson Ranger District, says crews plan to treat roughly 300 acres along the Carson Range in 2013.
He tells the Reno Gazette-Journal that's twice as much as last year and significantly more than the roughly 200 acres deliberately burned most years.
Crews recently conducted sizeable burns in Dog Valley outside Verdi, in Whites Creek Canyon south of Reno and might do another soon near Markleeville, Calif. They also plan a 100-acre burn along the East Fork of the Walker River.
At Lake Tahoe, they've treated about 750 acres since October with an annual program covering about 1,200 acres.