The Dodge Fire, named for the nearby Dodge Reservoir, started at approximately 2:00 p.m. on Monday, August 3rd, burning approximately 17 miles NE of Ravendale in sagebrush, grass and juniper trees. Investigators have confirmed that a spark from a tree harvesting saw was the cause of the fire.
Today, according to the daily situation report from Sierra Front, fire behavior is minimal. Crews will continue on mop-up 300 feet around the perimeter today and maintain unburned fuel islands. Fire behavior has moderated due to containment efforts and recent weather.
Typical afternoon breezes are expected for the rest of this week with the low pressure system approaching off the Oregon and California coast.
The fire management team is asking all hunters and recreational users to please avoid roads and the fire area east of Tuledad Road, south of Tuledad Canyon and north of Buckhorn Road. This advisory is on account of heavy use of fire equipment, aircraft and numerous personnel utilizing the area and roads. The fire is still active.
Diligent mop-up is done in an effort to preserve the Greater Sage-Grouse Priority Habitat Management Area that is still green and within the interior of the fire. This truly important habitat is referred to as “green islands of sagebrush” and will remain unburned and be protected from fire operations.
Often, firefighters will burn out these patches during suppression to reduce the possibility that they may ignite before the fire is contained. These green islands provide cover and a food source for the Greater Sage-Grouse, a chicken-sized bird that cannot thrive in areas where sagebrush does not exist.
The geographically isolated population of sage grouse that live in the area straddling the California/Nevada border, and will take advantage of these islands for nesting and rearing their young, hiding from predators, and as their primary food source through the long winter.