Santa Margarita Lake area prescribed burn scheduled

Cal Fire Firefighters assisting a local rancher with burning pile of another invasive plant, the wooly distaff thistle back on Oct. 13. (Photo contributed)

SANTA MARGARITA LAKE — The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) in cooperation with the Range Improvement Association and local landowners will be conducting a 138-acre prescribed burn on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

This burn is located along West Pozo Road approximately one mile southwest of Santa Margarita Lake. Four fire engines, one fire crew, and one bulldozer will be utilized to conduct the burn. The burn is being conducted as part of the Cal Fire’s Vegetation Management Program and is intended to reduce highly flammable vegetation and other wildland fuels in an area prone to wildfires. This burn is also intended to demonstrate the effectiveness of prescribed burning as a management tool for the control of yellow starthistle, an invasive weed harmful to cattle and horses. The project is in cooperation with the San Luis Obispo County Range Improvement Association and should improve forage conditions for livestock and wildlife.

People in the Santa Margarita Lake area and/or traveling West Pozo Road may see smoke in the Pozo Valley from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31. In the unlikely event you smell smoke, County officials urge you to take precautions and use common sense to reduce harmful health effects by limiting outdoor activities.

The prescribed burn is being coordinated with the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District and the California Air Resources Board in order to minimize the smoke impacts to surrounding communities.

The project is dependent on weather and will be carried out during favorable atmospheric conditions that provide adequate consumption and smoke dispersal. If the weather conditions are not within pre-established parameters, the burn will be rescheduled.

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