Cal Fire is planning to burn 525 acres — nearly a square mile — Wednesday in west Huasna Valley.
The prescribed burn will take place on private property about five miles east of Arroyo Grande. Smoke from the event may be visible throughout the county from Wednesday evening through Friday.
The burn will take place in a combination of coastal sage scrubland and oak woodland, said Alan Peters, Cal Fire forester. The area has historically seen large wildfires, and the goal is to reduce brush and other fuels.
Because of this history of damaging wildfires, Cal Fire has targeted the area for prescribed burning over the past decade, Peters said. They hope to create a fuel break that will stop a fire on the Los Padres National Forest from burning west into populated areas on the coast.
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“It’s a good strategic location,” Peters said. “In the fall, September through Christmas, the wind often blows from the east.”
The fire will be started by a helicopter using a large drip torch and three terra-torches, which are truck-mounted flame throwers. Five engines, three bulldozers, three fire crews, three pumper trucks and a water tender will be used to contain the fire.
The burn is dependent on the weather and could be postponed if conditions are not favorable. People sensitive to smoke are encouraged to limit outdoor activities during the burn.