GBUAPCD Air Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Prescribed Burns’ Category

Markleevillage Understory, 17 acres on May 4

Posted by admin on May 5, 2011

Yesterday, May 4, 2011, the Carson Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest burned 17 acres under their Markleevillage Understory Smoke Management Plan (SMP).   The photo below is looking SSW at the plume at midday, rising and dispersing away from the town of Markleeville.  (SMP is available for download and viewing under ‘2011 NEW Smoke Management Plans’)  Despite favorable uplope surface winds and easterly transport winds, it was an ARB-declared “Marginal” burn day.  Therefore, only half of the 34 acres in the SMP were approved for ignition.
 

Markleevillage Understory May 4, 2011



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Map of New 2011 Prescribed Burn Locations

Posted by admin on March 23, 2011

Click on the image below to view (or right-click to open link in new tab or window) an interactive Adobe PDF map with the locations of the new 2011 prescribed burns for which Smoke Management Plans (SMPs) have been submitted.  Approved new SMPs are posted on the left of the Home page.  Once you open the map, click on any of the burn names to be directed to a Google Maps view of the area.  You can then zoom in or out to get a better sense of the location.  This map will be kept current, and the link kept in the “2011 NEW Smoke Management Plans” section in the left margin of the Home page.

Map of New Prescribed Burns

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Bull burn causes highway closure

Posted by admin on March 15, 2011

At 11:32 on Saturday, CHP closed U.S. 395 for about 15 minutes because of the smoke impact from the Bull burn.  Below is an article in today’s Inyo Register (apologies for the image bleed-through from the opposite side). 

The District investigated what wind direction prevailed when the main portion of the burn was ignited.  A meteorological station located in the Meadow Creek area (D5754 Location) showed that there was a light SSE to ESE wind at ignition around 10:15-10:30 AM (D5754 2011-03-12).  This was an acceptable direction under which to start.  Unfortunately, at about 11:00 AM after the burners were already committed to the larger area, the wind shifted to from the NW and soon created the situation shown here. 

The burner had properly obtained a spot weather forecast for the ignition from the National Weather Service’s Las Vegas Fire Weather office (Bull Spot Weather 2011-03-12).  The prediction of light upvalley (south) winds seemed to be materializing.  Waiting until after 10:00 AM to start the main burn was appropriate because that was the time the forecast said the overnight inversion would break up and allow “Very Good” smoke ventilation. 

Inyo Register, Tuesday, 3/15/2011

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Eyes on Bull burn Saturday

Posted by admin on March 14, 2011

On Saturday, blacklining was performed around trees and bushes on the north side of the Bull burn.  This allowed the burners to observe where smoke was traveling before igniting the 40-acre field.  Even a Great Blue Heron was overseeing this stage.  Here, a desired south breeze was taking the smoke away from the nearby highway and Bishop residential areas.

Smoke during Bull blackline/test burn Sat, 3/12/2011 9:53 AM

No more than a light breeze ever developed so the plume of the main burn went pretty much straight up and got very good lift, as can be seen from the photo below from the Meadow Creek area.  Despite a mild odor around town in the afternoon, the Bishop Tribe’s particulate monitors detected little, if any, increase over typical background values. 

Bull main burn Sat, 3/12/2011 11:04 AM

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Bull Burn planned Saturday, 3/12

Posted by admin on March 11, 2011

The DWP-Lacey Bull burn near the Bishop Gun Club is planned for tomorrow morning (see Smoke Management Plan and maps posted on the left).  The range-improvement burn will encompass as much as 67 acres of grass and brush, but only if the proper wind conditions develop.  The burner will start with some blacklining around some trees on the north side of the 40-acre eastern unit.  This will act as a test burn to see if the predicted southerly winds actually come up and to ensure that the smoke will not impact any of the nearby residential areas.

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DWP’s Winterton smoke looming

Posted by admin on March 9, 2011

The smoke from DWP’s escaped Winterton Burn by Blackrock looked ominous yesterday at sunset.  The photo below was taken from Redding Canyon Road east of Bishop.  The winds were from the SE for a few hours in the evening but fortunately, they shifted back to the NW at about 10:00 PM.   Without the shift, the smoke impact to Bishop and other communities in the valley would have been much worse.

Winterton Smoke 3/8/2011 5:30 PM

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Islands Burn Completed, Winterton Burn Not Held

Posted by admin on March 8, 2011

Two burns were conducted today. 

The Islands 1 Burn north of Lone Pine was completed for the season with the 27 acres burned today.   The smoke had good lift and dispersed to the SE bourne on NW winds.

Islands Burn 3-11-2011

DWP burned the 150-acre Division A unit of the Winterton Burn by Blackrock.   Smoke from this burn was also dispersing to the SE in the morning (photo below at 10:15 AM).  At 3:50 PM, DWP reported to the District that the burn had crossed its holding line and encroached north into the Division Y unit of the planned burn (see 3/1 post for Winterton maps) and had already burned an extra 100 acres.  Calfire and other resources were dispatched to assist with suppression of this additional burning.  This afternoon, there is now a S wind bringing the extra smoke back up the valley.

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Pile burn Sat 3/5

Posted by admin on March 7, 2011

On Saturday morning at 8:30, a pile burn south of Big Pine caused a smoke impact to Hwy 395 (shown in the photo below).  The burn had less than 1 ton of potential PM10 emissions, so no Smoke Management Plan was required.  Hopefully, the impact was short-lived for highway safety concerns.  The DWP lessee had the proper burn permits and it was a permissive burn day.  There was a NE wind at the time of the photo but, in the afternoon, it shifted to a S wind and mixed the smoke back up the Owens Valley.  Despite the permissive day, dispersion conditions could only be described as “Fair”.  The Bishop Tribe’s PM monitors did not increase significantly until 6PM when wood smoke from home heating contributed.  

Great Basin’s PM10 monitor east of the Owens River did show a spike to 23 µg/m³ for an hour at 3PM.  With an additional home-heating spike to 26 µg/m³ at 8PM, the day’s 24-hour average was about 10 µg/m³ (state standard is 50 µg/m³).  So the smoke, while very noticeable visibly, was only 20% of the standard set to protect sensitive individuals.

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LADWP Islands 1 Burn 3/3

Posted by admin on March 3, 2011

This morning LADWP did some burning north of Lone Pine within the Islands 1 Burn area (see Smoke Management Plan  and map of general area below).  The hope was to complete about 30 acres, but changing winds started to push smoke into the town of Lone Pine.  Because of this, LADWP began suppression and mop-up efforts at about 11:30 AM.

PDF: LADWP Islands1 Smoke Management Plan

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Winterton 11 acre unit Wed 3/2

Posted by admin on March 2, 2011

The Winterton Burn near Blackrock was scaled back dramatically from the planned 150 acres to only an 11-acre unit, Div B (see 3/1/11 post for burn map).  This smaller unit was ignited first in case the forecasted westerly transport winds did not actually develop.  That turned out to be the case.  SE surface winds seemed to dominate, as can be seen in the photo below from south of the burn looking north.  LADWP chose to wait for another day with better conditions to do the larger unit.

This smoke plume dissipated rapidly and impacts to Big Pine and Bishop were negligible.

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