Gasquet residents and motorists on U.S. 199 may see smoke in the area as Six Rivers National Forest continues its spring burn program — if the weather cooperates.

National forest officials plan to burn 21 acres within the Smith River National Recreation Area, including one acre on the Gasquet Ranger Station compound, according to a press release issued Friday. However, since it's contingent on the weather, officials haven't set an exact date for burning, said Six Rivers National Forest spokeswoman Bridget Litten.

National Forest personnel will update their burn plans on social media either the day before or the day of to give residents and motorists a heads-up, according to Litten.

According to Six Rivers Fire Chief Josh Mathiesen, the burns may be completed later in the year if the weather isn't favorable.

The burn program on the Smith River National Recreation Area includes 20-acres of understory burns in the Gordon Hill Vegetation and Fuels Management Project near Gasquet. Six Rivers personnel will also conduct one acre of pile burning at the Gasquet Ranger Station off U.S. 199, according to the press release.

Low-intensity understory burns remove excess vegetation, including leaves, needles and shrubs, in a specific area using a "controlled application of fire," according to the press release. Pile burning removes branches, limbs, stumps and other excess fuel that has been piled by hand or mechanical equipment.

Six Rivers National Forest officials also plan to burn 57 acres within the Orleans-Ukonom Ranger District starting as early as May 20 and 132 acres within the Mad River Ranger District.

For more information about the national forest's spring burn program, call Deputy Fire Chief Matt Holmstrom at (707) 441-3575 or email matt.holmstrom@usda.gov .

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