Smoke In Your Eyes? Might be an ANF Prescribed Burn

Local residents near Angeles National Forest may see smoke in the coming days and weeks as prescribed burns are being initiated to reduce the risk of wildfire to people and communities.

Today, Thursday, prescribed burns will be conducted near Clear Creek, Little Tujunga and Angeles Crest fire stations. Smoke may be visible by local residents.

With the objective of increasing defensible space and improving health across the forest, prescribed burns are planned at administrative sites such as fire stations, visitor centers, fuel-breaks and in areas with densely populated tree growth. These burns will occur through the winter and spring months as weather and other related factors permit. Angeles National Forest representatives are encouraging residents of Los Angeles County to stay informed on where burn projects will occur and subsequent smoke will be visible by following the agency on social media.

Preparation for prescribed fire starts early in the year when fire officials implement fuels and vegetation management projects. These projects are a proactive approach to managing risk so when cooler weather conditions occur firefighters can pivot from suppressing unwanted fires to igniting controlled burns, which foster a healthier ecosystem and minimizes 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 will allow for safe, controlled burns to take place. When criteria are met, crews implement, monitor and patrol each burn to ensure it meets the goals and objectives outlined by managers. Prescribed fires include both understory and pile burning 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.

The ignition of all prescribed burns is dependent on the availability of personnel, equipment and appropriate conditions. Prescribed burn planning and execution are closely coordinated with the National Weather Service and Air Quality Management Districts to manage smoke production and minimize impacts as much as possible.

When 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.