GBUAPCD Air Blog

Dust and smoke issues in the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District

Archive for the ‘Prescribed Burns’ Category

Saunders Pond burn March 24, 2016

Posted by admin on March 18, 2016

On April 24, 2016, LADWP did a prescribed burn of 28.5 acres of bulrush (tules) as part of a wildlife or game habitat improvement project.  Although the burn was approved by the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, smoke did not disperse as well as hoped.  The active firing burn lasted from 9:45 – 11:10. The smoke got good initial lift but, starting at about noon, a significant portion passed directly by the District’s webcams at Laws at ground level.  Videos may from these webcams be viewed at Laws South – 3/24/16 and Laws North 3/24/16.

Saunders Pond burn at 10:26 on February 24, 2016

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LADWP Buckley Pond burn

Posted by admin on March 10, 2014

Starting at about 9:30 this morning, LADWP ignited 13 acres of tules in a prescribed burn at Buckley Ponds east of Bishop.  Most of the smoke went SSE on light winds toward Black Mountain.   From there, it seemed to disperse on out Death Valley Road  that splits off of Hwy 168 (to Westgard Pass) toward Eureka Dunes.  Higher winds after noon cleared any residual smoke out of the Owens Valley.  This is as good a smoke-dispersion result as could possibly be hoped for in a prescribed burn.

Below are two photographs of the smoke dispersion, one looking SW from Redding Canyon Rd and the second looking SE from W Warm Springs Rd by the Bishop Sunland Landfill.  (Click on photos to see full-size images)  Black Mountain is obscured by the smoke on the left side of the Redding Canyon Rd photo.  The same peak can be used as a reference point in the center of the W Warm Springs Rd photo.

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Buckley Pond burn as seen from Redding Canyon Rd at 11:15 AM, Monday 3/10/2014

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Buckley Pond burn as seen from W Warm Springs Rd at 11:37 AM, Monday 3/10/2014

 

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Whitaker Rx in Sequoia-Kings NP

Posted by admin on June 22, 2012

Yesterday afternoon and evening, the Owens Valley experienced some haze from both windblown dust (Lone Pine and Independence), bourne on south winds, and in smoke from the initiation of Sequoia-Kings National Park’s 504-acre (planned ) Whitaker prescribed burn.  From satellite imagery, it appears that the smoke came into the valley mostly through Kearsarge and Bishop Passes.  Burn managers began yesterday by blacklining the perimeter and hope to complete the interior of the burn in the next 2-3 days.  The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District is relaying smoke observations to the burn managers and will only ask them to curtail operations if the impacts approach the 24-hour average standards for particulate matter.  Below is an image from yesterday afternoon taken by a webcam near the burn.

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Hodgdon Rx burn in Yosemite

Posted by admin on June 21, 2012

Starting on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, Yosemite National Park has been performing the Hodgdon Rx (prescribed) burn 1/2 mile east of the Oak Flat entrance to the Park on State Route 120 in Tuolumne County.

The 234 acre burn has been broken down into the following amounts per day:

Total burned 06/19/2012: 70 acres (on a “Fair” burn day in South Mountain Counties Air Basin and a “Marginal” day in the Great Basin Valleys Air Basin)

Total burned 06/20/2012: 134 acres (on a “Fair” burn day in South Mountain Counties Air Basin and a “Burn” day in the Great Basin Valleys Air Basin)

Total  acres left to burn on 06/21/2012: 30 acres. Fire Managers are forecasting this project to  be completed by mid-day. (on a “Good” burn day in South Mountain Counties Air Basin and a “Burn” day in the Great Basin Valleys Air Basin)

The Mono Basin and Owens Valley have seen moderate increases in particulate matter at times on all three days.   The prevailing winds were toward both of these locations from the burn and the lightness of local winds rules out windblown dust as a source of the elevated particulate concentrations.  Visibility impairment in the Great Basin Valleys has been most apparent around sunrise and sunset.  Below are views from Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons from the Park’s Crane Flat webcam facing northwest toward the burn.  On both days, the smoke seemed to be travelling northeast without getting much lift (mixing height) on the “fair” burn days.  Dispersion conditions are, however, improving for the next several days.

 

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Crestview burn

Posted by admin on January 18, 2012

The Inyo National Forest burned 121 acres yesterday at Crestview, east of Highway 395.  At the time of ignition, there was still a slight haze in the Owens Valley from a Martin Luther King’s Day dust event.  The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District approved the burn despite this because there are several days of good dispersion forecasted as a weekend storm approaches.  Southwest surface winds and northwest transport winds made for a nearly ideal presription for ignition.

Crestview Unit 9A from Smokey Bear Flat

 

Crestview Unit 9A from Mono City

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Crestview smoke dispersed well

Posted by admin on October 21, 2011

The Inyo National Forest did 100 acres on their Crestview broadcast burn yesterday off Bald Mountain Road, south of Mono Lake.  The smoke plume dispersed to the northeast, as can be seen in the satellite image and photo facing north up Owens Valley from near the intersection of Ed Powers Road with State Route 168.

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Pilot & Crestview Prescribed Burning

Posted by admin on October 20, 2011

The Inyo National Forest did a broadcast burn, Pilot/Corsair, of approximately 156 acres yesterday a few miles southeast of Mono Lake.  Today they will burn another 100 acres of their Crestview broadcast burn.  The photo below of Pilot/Corsairwas taken at about noon from the Crooked Meadows turnoff from East State Route 120, facing southeast. The smoke plume got vertical lift of about 5,000-7,000 feet above ground-level, allowing for good dispersion to the ESE (see 1:45 PM satellite image below).

 

There was some concern, based on fire weather predictions, that the winds would change to out of the north later in the afternoon and evening.  This did not materialize though as the smoke plume continued to go east towards nightfall, as can be seen looking up Owens Valley from East Line Street in the photo below.  The smoke stacked up against the White Mountains some, but then dispersed on over into Nevada.  Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) near the burn location actually recorded the winds shifting to the south overnight.

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Lion Fire smoke over the top

Posted by admin on July 28, 2011

The Lion Fire (http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2400) grew to 16,350 acres yesterday, July 27, 2011, as the Sequoia National Forest continued to ignite new areas, burning back from terrain features such as rocky ridges and creekbeds in order to establish containment lines.  They have been employing this strategy for the last several days causing a dramatic increase in acreages burned per day and smoke emissions (see burn progression at Lion_7-27-2011.  We’ve all seen and experienced the smoke.  Although only listed as 15% contained, the fire is pretty successfully boxed in by these “burnout” operations.  Therefore, growth and smoke emissions should drop off dramatically in the next few days.

Below are two photos from yesterday at about 6:00 PM looking north from Haiwee Reservoir and from just south of Olancha.  Luckily, for many Inyo County communities, much of the smoke went up and east, over into Nevada.

A large portion of the smoke plume dispersed north however, as seen from this satellite image at 2:10PM, and settled into the upper Highway 395 corridor later in the afternoon and evening.

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Hole-in-the-Wall Fire

Posted by admin on June 24, 2011



On Saturday, June 25, 2011, the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park will be conducting the 36-acre, Hole-in-the-Wall, prescribed burn in the Cedar Grove area.  It will be on the north side of Highway 180, opposite the area burned by the Sheep Wildfire last summer. (click image for larger version)  This image depicts the Sheep Fire final perimeter with north to the right.

Hole-in-the-Wall Press Release

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Training Burn for FI-210 Class

Posted by admin on May 16, 2011

On Monday, May 16, 2011, the Inyo National Forest/BLM Bishop Field Office (INF) burned dry grass & weeds at the Bishop sewage pond area on Airport Road south of East Line Street (See Map: FI-210 Burn Location).  In a communication to the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (District), the INF states:

“The purpose of the live training burn plots is for students taking the FI-210 Wildland Fire Origin and Cause Determination class to investigate real time wildland fires using indicators.  This class is a multi-Agency attendence which include; Mammoth Fire Department, Forest Service, BLM, Calfire, District Attornies, Inyo and Mono County Sheriff’s Department and several Fire Department from out of the area.”

5/16/2011, 1:23 PM

Although burns for the training of firefighting personnel are exempt from the  District’s smoke management requirements, this burn was done on a permissive burn day and with written approval from the District.  Small areas were ignited one at a time, reducing the smoke impact to the extent that it was barely discernable at East Line Street.

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