Information provided by Cal Fire San Benito-Monterey Unit.
Cal Fire plans to conduct a prescribed burn on private property in San Benito County on Nov. 14-15. The burn will take place in the Diablo Range east of Pinnacles National Park.
Smoke from the prescribed burn is normal and may continue after the burn has concluded, according to a recent release. Smoke is expected to be visible from King City, Bitterwater, Pinnacles National Park, New Idria, southern San Benito County and the San Joaquin Valley.
The release said the purpose of the prescribed burn is to reintroduce fire to the ecosystem, thereby reducing hazardous fire fuels by removing brush and downed woody debris. Cal Fire said this addresses the goal of reducing the severity of future wildfires by providing added protection and reestablishing natural ecosystems utilizing fire.
“Reducing hazardous fuels through prescribed fire activities is the most effective and cost efficient treatment that influences future fire behavior and suppression success, and increases ecosystem health,” the release states.
This type of exercise also provides valuable hands-on training for fire personnel in fire suppression activities while working safely in a controlled environment. The burn will consist of two days of ignition.
All prescribed burns are monitored closely for smoke dispersal, and if necessary action is taken to mitigate concerns as they arise, the release said. Weather conditions will be monitored and the burn could be postponed if burning conditions are found to be unfavorable. Cal Fire said they are in close consultation with the National Weather Service’s Monterey office, the Monterey Bay Air Resources District and the California Air Resources Board to ensure that the burn takes place in appropriate weather conditions.