Smoke Visible Near Smokey Bear Flat North Of Mammoth Beginning une 3

Staff Writer

Weather and air quality conditions permitting, fire crews will be conducting the Antelope Prescribed Fire this week, starting Monday June 3, and continue into the month as conditions allow, according to the Inyo National Forest.

This unit is east of Highway 395, near Smokey Bear Flat, and south of the Owens River Road. They are targeting to complete approximately 500 acres while favorable conditions permit. Crews are taking advantage of recent snowmelt and rain to safely conduct this prescribed fire.

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 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). This will encourage biodiversity as 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.