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Prescribed burns at several state parks beginning in November 

prescribed burn SLO county

California State Parks, in cooperation with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), are planning to begin a series of prescribed burns in several coastal state parks between Nov. 1, and May 29, 2021. The efforts will be carried out in cooperation with Cal Fire, the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District, and the Morro Bay Fire Department.

These burns are part of the prescribed fire program for vegetation management, hazardous fuel load reduction, wildlife habitat improvement, and other ecological benefits. This treatment will enhance the health of the forest by removing diseased materials, restoring essential nutrients to the soil, and reducing the chance of a catastrophic wildfire.

In grassland and scrub areas, fire will be reintroduced as a component of the ecosystem on a rotational basis. The prescribed burns will also help in reducing dangerous fuel loads throughout our wildland areas.

The prescribed burns are planned and coordinated with the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District in order to minimize the smoke impacts on surrounding communities. All burning depends on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable for smoke dispersal. If conditions such as weather or vegetation are not conducive to burning, the burns will be rescheduled.

Some public trails near the burn area may be closed the day of the burn. The day before the burn, a media notice will be sent to the affected community. People traveling near the fire burn areas may see smoke from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the day of the burns. In the unlikely event you smell smoke, County officials urge you to take precautions and use common sense to reduce any harmful health effects by limiting outdoor activities.

Prescribed burns produce significantly less smoke than a wildfire does. If you see or smell smoke in your surroundings, officials recommend avoiding strenuous outdoor activity and remaining indoors as much as possible. These precautions are especially important for children, the elderly and people with respiratory and heart conditions. Please use extreme caution while driving near prescribed fire operations due to fire personnel and equipment in the area.
California State Parks and CAL FIRE are adhering to the safety protocols set by public health officials and have made accommodations to limit exposure among first responders and field crews to protect staff from COVID-19 during prescribed burns.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.