Spring, Summer Prescribed Burning on Inyo National Forest

 

BISHOP, Calif., May 1, 2024 — This spring and summer season, Inyo National Forest fire personnel will be looking for windows of opportunity to conduct up to 4,248 acres of broadcast prescribed burning on the Mono and White Mountain Ranger Districts to restore forest health and reduce hazardous fuels.

Smoke will drift and settle into the valley areas, especially at night. This includes low-lying areas such as Highway 395, Mammoth Scenic Loop, Owens River Road, Crowley Lake and Owens River Gorge. If necessary, smoke-sensitive individuals may need to take precautions to minimize smoke impacts. Visit fire.airnow.gov to check particulate levels before you visit the Owens Valley area in general.

Dry Creek and Hartley Units: up to 1,555 acres

  • Location: south of June Lake Junction, north of the Town of Mammoth Lakes.
    • Smoke and flame may be visible from Deadman Creek Road in Crestview, Owens River Road, Bald Mountain Road, Glass Creek Road and Mammoth Scenic Loop.
  • Purpose: implementation of the 2007 Jeffrey Pine Forest Health and Fuel Reduction Project Environmental Assessment

Casa Diablo Unit: up to 2,664 acres

  • Locationnortheast side of Highway 395 and Rock Creek/Tom’s Place, surrounding the Sunny Slopes community on the north and east sides.
    • Smoke and flame will be visible from Highway 395, Crowley, Toms Place, Sunny Slopes, and Bishop. Smoke is expected to drift down the Owens River Gorge at night and could reach down into the Bishop area.

Crowley Communities Unit: up to 29 acres

  • Location: northeast side of Highway 395 and western side of the Sunny Slopes community.

 

Fire personnel are always tracking fuel moistures, and aim to perform these burns when both favorable fuel moisture levels and the right weather window are simultaneously reached within the desired prescription range.

“For the Casa Diablo and Crowley burns, we need to reach ‘green up,’ which is when live fuel moisture of the vegetation is high enough to moderate fire behavior and effects,” Jeffrey Karl, a Fuels Battalion for Inyo National Forest.

“The order in which we conduct these burns will depend on our weather windows, staffing availability, and the fuel moistures. We may not burn all targeted acreage, as the priorities lie more in the completion of both defensible space and obtaining the desired fire effects on the landscape for the forest ecosystems which depend on it.”

Ignitions are coordinated with the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and National Weather Service meteorologists to ensure desired weather patterns and smoke dispersal are in place in order to minimize impacts to communities, highways, and adjacent residences before ignitions.

For a multimedia album of the 2023 prescribed burns conducted on Inyo National Forest, visit our Region 5 Pacific Southwest Region’s Flickr page at: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjANbk5