Bald Mountain Burns Could Last All Week; Smoke Likely

Times Staff Report
Staff Writer

Weather and air quality conditions permitting, fire crews will be conducting the Bald Mountain/Antelope Prescribed Fire this week, starting as early as Monday, April 23, according to the Inyo National Forest. This unit is east of Highway 395 near Bald Mountain and their are plans to complete up to 300 acres this week.

This project is in Jeffrey pine forest and can be completed in smaller units if necessary, using the road system to define the unit perimeter. Crews are targeting 100 to 200 acres per day but will work with the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District to ensure they take advantage of good smoke dispersal windows.

This area has seen previous thinning and pile burning, so these prescribed fires are the next step in restoring the natural fire cycle in the Jeffrey pine forest, which historically had a frequent fire cycle (about every 5-15 years), according to the forest. This will encourage biodiversity and well as help make the forest more resistant to fires of unnatural size and intensity.

Smoke may be visible at times from Highways 395, 158, and 203, as well as the communities of June Lake, Lee Vining, Mammoth Lakes, and Crowley Lake.