Big Bear News – San Bernardino, CA — Update 4/28: The relative humidity is dropping pretty fast, putting fire crews out of prescription, so they are going to postpone the prescribed burn described immediately below to Sunday. It is possible more burning could take place into the week as well.
Fire crews accomplished 128 acres last Friday, April, 23, and plan to return this Thursday, April 29, for 50 more acres. The location for Thursday’s work is at the top of the Castle Rock Trail, north of Bluff Lake and Meadow. As usual with these kind of prescribed burns (broadcast), a large smoke column may be visible. Please do not call 911. Burns are scheduled with smoke dispersion away from town in mind.
4/22: Fire crews accomplished 25 acres of treatment on Tuesday and will continue to monitor the area where the prescribed fire continues to smolder and consume ground fuels.
On Friday, fire crews plan to return for more ignitions, which may continue throughout the weekend. Expect to see smoke from the area to the south of the City of Big Bear Lake. Like earlier this week, a large smoke column may be visible. There is no need for alarm or to call 911. Forest service personnel do their best to choose days when the impact from smoke drifting into the community will be reduced.
229 acres will be targeted to the south of the city of Big Bear Lake. Smoke will be visible. The Osito (165 acres) and Deer (21 acres) burns will be located south of both Camp Osito (2N17) and the west end of Knickerbocker (2N08) roads. The Dickies Burn (43 acres) will be south of Big Bear Village off Mid Section (2N51Y) and the east end of Knickerbocker (2N08) roads. See the map (.pdf) for details.
At least three days of burning are scheduled to begin today, Tuesday, April 20, due to optimal weather conditions for safe and productive ignitions. Predicted overnight relative humidity recoveries are expected limit smoke dispersion into the communities, but resident and visitors should be aware smoke may be noticeable.
“Spending time in a forest ecosystem where fire has a natural role means occasionally spending time with fire and smoke,” said Mountaintop District Ranger Marc Stamer. “We recognize the concern about smoke and try our best to choose burn windows when the impact will be less.”
This week’s planned burns, along with previous and future ones across Bear Valley, cumulatively builds and maintains a buffer around the community. That buffer changes fuel-driven fire behavior by slowing it down while also creating a safe space for firefighters to work.