You may have noticed smoke towards the north west when driving along Hwy 395. Following is an explanation from the Bureau of Land Management.
BISHOP, Calif. – Interagency wildland fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office and the Inyo National Forest will be treating up to 70 acres of public lands with prescribed fire at Fish Slough north of Bishop in Inyo and Mono counties to improve wetland habitat. Prescribed fire operations will occur in late February or early March, depending on weather, air quality and staff availability.
The BLM has used prescribed fire as part of a larger strategy to maintain and improve wetland habitats in the Fish Slough Area of Critical Environmental Concern for several decades. Prescribed fire operations, which are scheduled to occur before the spring growing season, will reduce tule accumulations, increase open water habitat for Owens pupfish, and encourage new vegetation growth to support other species dependent on this desert wetland. The BLM is committed to keeping public landscapes healthy and productive.
During prescribed fire operations, smoke may be visible from Bishop and nearby communities along U.S. Highway 395 and U.S. Highway 6 corridors, including Mustang Mesa, Round Valley, Swall Meadows, Laws and Chalfant.
The BLM requests that the public avoid congregating on or near roadways in the Fish Slough area, which can obstruct fire equipment and emergency vehicles supporting prescribed fire operations. All prescribed fire operations will be conducted in close coordination with the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District.
For more information, please call Heather Stone at the Bishop Field Office, 760-872-5000.