(UPDATED 2-2-21 @ 9:00 a.m.) BLM announced they too will be doing a large prescribed burn in Mono County this week – a 55 acre burn  in Bodie Hills in Bridgeport Canyon, west of Coyote Springs. Smoke may be visible from Bridgeport to Lee Vining.)

(ORIGINAL STORY POSTED 2-1-21)  Prescribed burns  by the Inyo National Forest are taking place all week long up up and down the Sierra.

Weather and air quality conditions permitting, fire crews will continuing pile burning at several locations throughout the forest this week.

Areas include Bishop Creek drainage, near Swall Meadows, along McGee Creek, and along the June Lake Loop. Smoke is visible from numerous locations.

Firefighters Mike Christian & Torre Bailey from Lone Pine Engine #41

INF’s Engine 41’s Mike Christian and Torre Bailey, out of Lone Pine,  were manning several pile fires along Hwy. 168 near Big Trees Campground.

“The piles (dead brush and limbs) were collected a few years ago, back off the road about 150 yards,” they said. Left to dry out for several years, the piles are ignited using a 3 to 1 mixture of diesel fuel and gasoline.

The Forest Service stated,,”By burning the piles in the winter, we safely reduce the fuels that will reduce fire risk to the community during hotter, drier conditions. Fire is also an essential ecosystem component, recycling nutrients to the soil, opening gaps in the canopy that encourage regeneration, which leads to  greater biodiversity for both plants and animals.”