Sierra Wave News has been reporting for several weeks that wildfire concerns are increasingly on the rise as we approach summer with the specter of last year’s devastating, uncontrolled wildfires, loss of life, destruction of homes and structures, along with the destruction of forest lands, loss of wildlife and extremely unhealthy smoke that blanketed many parts of the communities of the Eastern Sierra for weeks on end on the minds of many. This year promises to be the same with extreme drought conditions throughout much of California and the Western states.
A preventive measure used by the forest service to mitigate the danger and the damage from wildfire is prescribed fires or burns. Prescribed fires help reduce the catastrophic damage of wildfire on the lands and surrounding communities by safely removing excessive amounts of brush, shrubs, and trees. It also encourages new growth of native vegetation; and a fact often overlooked by the public, maintaining the many plant and animal species whose habitats depend on periodic fire.
Following is a press release from the Inyo National Forest for a prescribed burn in Mono County. If you see a smoke or a burn, consider the location, and if uncertain, always contact the authorities if you are concerned. With the large numbers of visitors expected in the area attending the Mule Days Celebration in Bishop and others coming to the area to go fishing, camping, skiing, and hiking, the danger of wildfire is greatly increased. A stage One fire alert is in effect in the Inyo National Forest. Camp in organized campgrounds and do not light campfires in dispersed areas. More importantly, never leave any campfire unattended and make sure that any campfire is completely before you leave a campsite. Report any unattended campfires fires and concerns to 9-1-1.
BISHOP, CA May 24, 2021 — The Inyo National Forest will conduct a prescribed fire project at a site located along the Highway 395 corridor near Sunny Slopes and Tom’s Place beginning May 25, 2021, as weather conditions permit.
Crews are planning to start ignitions on Tuesday, May 25, targeting 60 acres. The first planned unit is directly east of Sunny Slopes, north of Tuff Campground, and is in the Jeffrey pine/sage/pinyon pine fuel types. If operations go well on the first unit, managers may also conduct the 100-acre prescribed fire on Mammoth Lakes Ranger District. This project is located north of Mammoth Lakes and west of the Crestview Fire Station.
The primary purpose of these prescribed fire projects is to reduce hazardous fuels for the nearby developed areas, as well as to restore fire-adapted ecosystem conditions.
Smoke will be visible at times from Highway 395 as well as from nearby communities. It may settle into down-valley communities in the evening.
Prior to prescribed burning, much consideration goes into current and forecasted wind direction to divert much of the smoke from communities. The Inyo National Forest works closely with the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District to select days that will provide good smoke dispersal.
For more information about prescribed burning projects on the Inyo National Forest, please visit InciWeb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7382/.
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