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Prescribed Burning Scheduled for the Whitney Portal Area

On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Forest Service issued the following announcement:

As part of the Inyo National Forest’s plan for hazardous fuels reduction, a controlled vegetation burn is scheduled to be conducted late January through early March. The actual dates and times will be weather dependent. The burn area is 130 acres and located northwest of Hogback Road (FS Road #14S04) and northeast of the switchbacks on Whitney Portal Road. This area will be broken into smaller burn units (10 to 50 acres each) within the perimeter to facilitate control measures and lessen smoke impact to the surrounding communities.

The burn is designed to restrict potentially large and complex fires by reducing vegetation in predetermined locations. The reduction of the vegetation will act as a “buffer” to areas of value and heavy recreation use, as well as aid in suppression efforts. Reducing heavy and decadent vegetation also aids in wildlife and ecosystem health and rehabilitation by removing aged and crowded stems to be replaced by newer, more nutrient rich stems.

The entire burn area is expected to be completed over several weeks. Smoke will be visible from many locations in the southern Owens Valley. Prior to burning, much consideration goes into current and forecasted wind direction in order to limit the effects of smoke on nearby communities and recreation sites.

Many resources and burn personnel will be working on the site and traveling in the area. For the safety of burn personnel, please stay a considerable distance from the burn site.

For additional information, please contact the Owens Valley Interagency Communication Center at 760-873-2488 or the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center at 760-876-6222.


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