Monday, October 14, 2013

habitat ~ 10/14/13 ~ Fort Ord - Army Lands

 Fort Ord controlled burn
October 14, 2013

Here's the smoke plume from 8 minutes, 1 hour, and almost 2 hours after they started the fire at 10:20am this morning.  I'll admit that I used to really detest these fires.  The orange sky is disorienting, and everyone seems to get grouchy.  I blogged about them in 2009 and 2010.  I don't think they burned the last 2 years.  One year's cancellation was because they discovered such big unexploded ordnances on the surface of the ground that it would have been extremely dangerous to have a fire.  Something about the potential for shrapnel to cross into residential areas?  Now that I've been on a few BRAC field trips, I understand why they burn and am a little more tolerant.  With all the keep out signs, I'm amazed we don't hear about exploded deer or pigs.  We'll probably have a couple more fires before the year is out.  I'm quite afraid of wildfires, so even though these are "controlled", they still scare me a bit.

ps - BigSurKate posted photos of this fire as well.  Here are additional local news links: Monterey County Herald, KSBW, and KION.

pss 10/15/13 - Another day, another fire: BigSurKate, Monterey County Herald, KSBW,  and KION.  Units 10 and 7, plus is a little extra, were burned this year.

pss 10/22/13 - It's interesting to juxtapose our local controlled burns with fires down under, like this post from BunyipCo.

pss 10/26/13 - These 2 burns are still making the local news:  Monterey County Herald and KSBW.

pss 03/18/14 - I received a notification that there will be no prescribed burns in 2014.  Yay?


John W. Wall said...

That's an awful lot of smoke. I hope it doesn't drift into anyone's neighborhood.

Cindy said...

Good photos. They show how much smoke can occur during a controlled burn and how that can be a concern. Whenever I have worked controlled burns as a biologist, I've had to be there early and I've noticed the deer skedaddle by the time the second or third fire engine arrives; and usually there are dozens of fire engines, plus many patrol trucks, a helicopter and maybe a bulldozer on a flatbed truck just as backup that show up too, so the deer are outta-there. Since controlled burns are usually just in the grasslands, the deer seem to know they should head for the forest.

Joe said...

I'm not a fan of burns either but I do understand their purpose.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Yep, John, I feel badly for the downwind residents, because it's not only smoke but snowy white ash, too.

Hey, Cindy, I haven't read any news this morning, yet, but I suspect it created problems at our airport which is directly downwind from this site. Today, they're planning on doing another section that's even closer to the airport. I feel badly for all the horned lizards that must have gotten fried. I hope I can finagle a tour next spring to see the fire poppies.

Joe, these controlled burns are a little unusual in that they're not primarily for habitat management; they're to remove vegetation as cheaply as possible so that unexploded ordinances can be located and removed before transfer of Army Lands to the public.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

(ordnance, not ordinance)