September 21, 1998
Fire-fighting crews from the California Youth Authority received training on last month's burn. (read article)
The UCSC Fire Department plans to set fire to a portion of campus meadowland off Empire Grade road on Wednesday, September 23.
The "controlled burn" follows up on an earlier burn that took place in late August. As did the first controlled burn, this week's exercise will take place in portions of Marshall Field, approximately four miles up Empire Grade road from the campus's main entrance. It will encompass some 50 acres, but will take place in small, controlled sections.
Fire fighters were forced to schedule the second burn after cool, cloudy weather and too-green vegetation kept them from burning as much acreage as they had planned in August.
The Marshall Field area is being burned for several reasons, said UCSC Fire Chief Chuck Hernandez. Primarily, burning eliminates fuel that would feed a wildland fire, helping the campus avoid the risk from such fires. In addition, burning helps combat invasive plants such as European annual grasses. Controlled burns such as this one also provide training for firefighters in fighting wildland fires.
The September 23 burn is scheduled to start in midmorning and is expected to end by early afternoon. It may be canceled if fires in other areas of the state require attention, or if weather conditions move outside a prescribed safety window. The burn is also subject to approval by the Monterey Bay Pollution Control Board.
Some members of the campus community may smell smoke on campus from the controlled burn, but the amount of smoke detectable on campus has been very small in the past, Hernandez said.
If you have questions or would like further information, call the UCSC Fire Department at (831) 459-3473.
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