Information provided by Cal Fire BEU
Cal Fire announced it plans to conduct a prescribed burn on private property in the Gabilan Range east of the city of Salinas in Monterey County on Oct. 12 and 13. It said the smoke from the control burn is expected to be visible from San Benito County, Pinnacles National Park, Salinas Valley and Santa Cruz County.
The news release said the purpose of the project is to reintroduce fire into the ecosystem, thereby reducing hazardous fire fuels by removing brush and downed woody debris, enhancing the fire safety.
“Another objective of the project to increase habitat corridors and forage for tule elk populations within the Gabilan Range,” the release said. “This activity provides valuable hands-on training for fire personnel in fire suppression activities while working safely in a controlled environment.”
It added that each operation follows a specialized burn plan, which considers temperature, humidity, wind, vegetation moisture, and conditions for dispersal of smoke.
Cal Fire said smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may continue for several days after an ignition depending on the project size, conditions, and weather.
“Prescribed fire smoke is generally less intense and of much shorter duration than smoke produced by wildland fires,” the release said.
Cal Fire said it is in close consultation with the National Weather Service’s Monterey office and Monterey Bay Air Resources District to ensure that burn takes place during appropriate weather conditions; the project may be postponed if conditions are not conducive to a safe burn.