PAICINES — Cal Fire plans to conduct a prescribed burn on private property in the Gabilan Range, west of the town of Paicines, in the McPhails Peak area of San Benito County on Tuesday.

The purpose of the Sept. 27 project is to reintroduce fire into the ecosystem, thereby reducing hazardous fire fuels by removing brush and downed woody debris, enhancing the fire safety.

“This type of exercise also provides valuable hands-on training for fire personnel in fire suppression activities while working safely in a controlled environment,” according to Cal Fire in a news release.

Each operation follows a specialized burn plan, which considers temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation and conditions for dispersal of smoke. All this information is used to decide when and where to burn.

Smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may continue for several days after an ignition depending on the project size, conditions and weather. Prescribed fire smoke is generally less intense and of much shorter duration than smoke produced by wildland fires.

Smoke from Tuesday’s control burn will be visible from the Hollister area, Salinas Valley, Paicines Valley and Pinnacles National Park.

“Weather conditions will be monitored, and the burn may be postponed if burning conditions are found to be unfavorable,” Cal Fire stated.

Cal Fire is in close consultation with the National Weather Service’s Monterey office and the Monterey Bay Air Resources District to ensure that the burn takes place in appropriate weather conditions.

For more information on preparing for and preventing wildfires, visit

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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