BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The Beale Fire Department and on-base Wildland Support Module will be conducting prescribed burns on base between May 27 and June 11.
Approximately, 3,255 acres of prescribed burning is scheduled to take place between these dates with the most significant prescriptive burn occurring on June 5. During this burn, 2,175 acres will be targeted and smoke will be visible coming from Beale Air Force Base during this time period.
Burns will start between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. pending on weather conditions and will continue into the afternoon. Smoke will be visible from Highway 20, Browns Valley, Smartsville, Wheatland, Linda and surrounding communities.
For the June 5 burn, California Air Resources Board and Feather River Air Quality Management District will mobilize air monitoring stations and monitor potential smoke impacts throughout the surrounding communities. In addition, multiple fire agencies will be assisting Beale’s Fire Department with the ignition and control of the largest burn.
These fire agencies includes the Fire Departments from Wheatland, Linda, Marysville, and Smartsville, the U.S. Forest Service, CALFIRE, and two United States Air Force Wildland Support Modules from Joint Base Charleston and Vandenberg.
Prescribed burns aim to reduce the threat of wildland fire by minimizing vegetative fuel loading, as well as reduce invasive plants and weeds in order to promote an increase in native grasses. The Air Force will only initiate the burns with favorable weather conditions including humidity, temperature, wind speed and direction, and moisture in the vegetation. Fire crews conduct small test fires before igniting the larger area to verify how effectively vegetation (fuels) will be consumed to ensure the burn and smoke management objectives can be met. Beale’s Air Quality Manager and Wildland Fire & Fuels Specialists is working diligently and in close coordination with the California Air Resources Board and Feather River Air Quality Management District to minimize smoke impacts to the surrounding communities.
During active fire operations, fire personnel and apparatuses working in these vicinities will be visible to the public. Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened caution when passing through active prescribed burn areas.
Firefighters working in fire teams will work to control the fire’s intensity and ensure the fire progresses in a safe manner. Resources will continue to check the area for several days following the fires.