Los Padres to Implement Prescribed Fires

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Source: Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres National Forest officials today announced plans to begin implementing their annual prescribed burning operations on the Forest over the next few months. When favorable weather conditions are present, specific project locations and dates will be shared on the Forest’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
 
The objectives of the projects are to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire to people and communities, create conditions which offer a safer and more effective wildfire response, foster more resilient ecosystems, and minimize the effects of large wildfires on the landscape.
 
When implementing these projects, fire managers follow a burn plan that outlines the “prescription” or environmental conditions such as temperature, wind, fuel moisture, ventilation and relative humidity that need to be present before the project begins. When the criteria are met, crews implement, monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets the goals and objectives outlined by managers. The prescribed fire program will continue through the winter and spring months as permitted by weather and other environmental factors.
 
Prescribed fires including both understory and pile burning are intended to reduce the amount of vegetation, such as needles, small plants, brush, and small trees which can carry fire from the forest floor into the treetops. Studies and experience have shown that prescribed fires stimulate the growth of grasses, forbs and shrubs that provide food for deer, mountain quail and other wildlife.
 
The ignition of all prescribed burns is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment and appropriate conditions. Prescribed burn planning and execution are closely coordinated with the National Weather Service and Air Quality Management Districts in order to manage smoke production and minimize impacts as much as possible.
 
When these burns occur, information signs will be posted along the roadways to alert the public to the burning activity and subsequent visible smoke in the area.

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SBZZ Dec 21, 2019 11:27 AM
Los Padres to Implement Prescribed Fires

Burning plants is almost completely carbon neutral. All air pollution regulations go thru a cost benefit analysis - $/mass of emission reductions and many based on $/health improvements. I think you will find that implementing them are well worth the cost based on these terms. Strategically-located control burning makes sense - mass burns as suggested below is bad for the forest and creates a man-induced landscape.

Chip of SB Dec 21, 2019 11:16 AM
Los Padres to Implement Prescribed Fires

Concerned4calif, I think you bring up a good point regarding air pollution from cars. I am all for clean air. However, it seems like the expenses associated with our smog requirements disproportionately impact those who can least afford it. I suspect we could achieve the same level of air quality with a much less burdensome approach. I think it would be worth investigating the cost vs benefit of smog regulations to see what could be done to make them less burdensome without compromising on air quality. I suspect that if we only required a smog check when a vehicle changes ownership the impact on air quality would be minimal.

Concerned4Calif Dec 21, 2019 10:42 AM
Los Padres to Implement Prescribed Fires

So much for our air quality. Wild fires, prescribed or accidental, release huge amounts of particulate matter and contribute to carbon dioxide green house gases. For particulate matter, even more than all the cars in California yet we have to pay hundreds of millions to have our cars check over and over again. https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/western-wildfires/california-wildfires-emitted-year-s-worth-car-pollution-less-week-n810421

Potif Dec 20, 2019 11:18 PM
Los Padres to Implement Prescribed Fires

It does have a lot of benefits, and... HOPEFULLY, the prescribed fires follow the ‘rules’... they don’t always. And, have been the cause of some major fires in the past.

ChillinGrillin Dec 20, 2019 09:49 PM
Los Padres to Implement Prescribed Fires

Before the Spanish arrived the natives in CA would hunt and gather before winter then set huge fires. Not only did this prevent the giant mega-fires we get now but many plant and tree species only start growing after wildfires.

Chip of SB Dec 20, 2019 11:58 AM
Los Padres to Implement Prescribed Fires

This sounds like a great idea. I hope these burns cover a sufficiently large area. The Los Padres forest is nearly 2 million acres in total. I would think that it would be necessary to burn on the order of tens of thousands of acres per year or more to keep the forest healthy and the fuel load under control. Much better to burn on our terms than to let nature do it on her terms...

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