Controlled Burn at Camp Roberts

CAMP ROBERTS PRESCRIBED BURN SCHEDULED FOR MAY 2015 

To Be Scheduled, Weather and Conditions Permitting, between May 18 and March 29, 2015



San Luis Obispo, CA – The California Army National Guard has tentatively scheduled a Fire Hazard Abatement burn at Camp Roberts with a tentative burn window set between May 18 and May 29.  The goal of this one-day burn is to reduce the risk of a wildland fire during troop training activities and will be comprised of approximately 8,000 acres of grassland. The burn is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 7:00 p.m. on a permissive burn day.  The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District staff have reviewed the Camp Roberts Smoke Management Plan and provided conditions to ensure air quality is preserved in San Luis Obispo County.  The burn will be conducted when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from potential population centers.
 

Upcoming weather

From my SLO weather person:

“The associated cold front is forecast to drop southward through
the Bay Area by late Wednesday, then slide down to Big Sur early
Thursday morning.

This cold front may be just strong enough produce a few light
rain showers in San Luis Obispo County by late Thursday morning.
Given the mild nature of the system, snow levels are expected
to remain above 6,000 feet with 3 to 5 inches of new snow possible
across the northern and central Sierra.

This cold front will be followed by strong to gale-force (25- to
38-mph) northwesterly winds along the coastline and clearing
skies. Another round of Santa Lucia winds will develop during
the night and morning hours Friday into Saturday.

The long-range models are suggesting a wet-weather pattern for
San Luis Obispo County for the middle and latter part of next
week (Nov. 18 through 21).”

And here is the prediction from NOAA, Monterey:

“TWO CHANCES FOR RAIN. THE FIRST WILL BE FOR LATE WEDNESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY WHILE THE SECOND EVENT SHOULD BE LATE NEXT MONDAY INTO WEDNESDAY. RIGHT NOW THE FIRST EVENT DOES NOT LOOK IMPRESSIVE AND MOST OF THE RAIN WILL STAY TO OUR NORTH, HOWEVER LOCALLY MORE THAN 1/2″ LOOKS LIKELY FOR THE NORTH BAY MOUNTAINS WITH GENERALLY .2″-.4″ AROUND SF BAY. THE SYSTEM NEXT WEEK IS LOOKING MORE INTERESTING AS A POSSIBLE ATMOSPHERIC RIVER MAY OCCUR. STILL QUITE A FEW DAYS DOWN THE ROAD, HOWEVER SOME OF THE SOLUTIONS ARE BRINGING HEALTHY AMOUNTS OF RAIN.”

Let’s hope they are right … We could certainly use more rain.

Black Bear Study on Central Coast

From the California Department of Fish and Game:

Black Bear Study Underway Along Central Coast

JULY 12, 2013 BY JANICEMACKEY
Media Contact: Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Scientists Splitting Hairs to Estimate Population and Breeding Patterns

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is conducting a multi-year population study on black bears in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties.

CDFW researchers are collecting bear hair this summer in San Luis Obispo County with non-invasive hair snags. DNA from the hair will be analyzed in a laboratory.

“With residential development encroaching further into bear habitat, it’s critical that we gain some scientific insight into California’s black bear population,” said CDFW state bear program coordinator, Marc Kenyon. “Understanding this expanding population will help us make informed planning decisions that are in the best interest of the bears.”

Samples are collected with hair snags: small barbwire corrals with non-consumable bait placed in the middle. As the bear passes through the wire to investigate the bait made from fermented fish and steer blood, the barbed wire gently pulls hair samples.
Scientists check and re-bait traps on a weekly basis, collecting hair specimens and sending them to the UC Davis Wildlife Genetics and Population Health Lab for testing and analysis.
“Extracting DNA from hair follicles allows us to identify unique individual profiles of bears, explore familial relations, breeding trends as well as gain insight into black bear movement patterns,” said UC Davis associate professor Holly Ernest.
U
Hair sampling is one of the most cost-effective and increasingly common methods of estimating abundance and density of bears on local scales. The method, known as capture–mark-recapture, is commonly used to estimate population sizes of wildlife, particularly when a complete head count is not possible.

Population size is estimated when a portion of the population is “captured” via a hair snag, “marked” by a DNA profile and “recaptured” when hair from the same animal is collected again. By evaluating the proportion of bears whose hair is collected repeatedly to the total number of bears sampled, scientists can estimate population size and identify general trends.
CDFW researchers plan to continue collecting hair samples into August and then will move operations north to Monterey County this fall.

Lightning

5 pm – here is SLO lightning tracker. One can see that the lightning is coming across the SLO/Monterey Co line and here on the South Coast. I haven’t heard any, yet, but it definitely looks like rain. It is hard to see the county line here, but it is below the “50” and right smack through the middle of the northern group of cells.

Here is what RL (real life) looked like at 5 pm. It currently looks as if there might be rain over the ocean:

4 pm cloud build up (this is, of course, looking north, but the ESE is getting dark)

Clouds, 9/10/11

1:00 pm – red flag warning ended at 11am. Here is what NWS said: “…RED FLAG WARNING FOR DRY LIGHTNING NO LONGER IN EFFECT. THUNDERSTORMS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEKEND ARE EXPECTED TO BE WET…”

10:30 am – nothing visible here, and the clouds I woke to are gone. It is clear with a blanket of fog on the coast. However, all around us they are getting pounded with lightning strikes in Kern County and southern San Luis Obispo County as well as the LPNF in Santa Barbara. There are multiple down strikes in each of those three counties and complex fires (multiple strikes grouped together into one fire-fighting effort) are present in each county.

From my SLO weather source: “An upper-level low pressure system is anchored over southern California coast and will be slow to move out of the area resulting in scattered thunderstorms with rain and lightning today through Sunday.

The system has tapped into subtropical moisture and will continue to do so for the next couple days and, as a result, thunderstorms that develop will most likely be accompanied by possible heavy rain.

Since there is no well-defined front associated with this type of system, exact timing of thunderstorms and rain amounts is very difficult to predict. In other words, periods of sunshine or partly cloudy skies may last for extended periods, before bands of thunderstorms rolled through your area.

Note: Thunderstorms may be accompanied by lightning, gusty winds,heavy rain and hail.”

From a fire fighting source, “South Op’s has taken over 20,000 downstrikes in the last 24 hours. Most of the lightning on a line from the AZ border northwest to the SLO area appear to have light to moderate precip; Opal Mt. and White Mt. RAWS stations showed .24 and .27 inches of precip, but the majority of the RAWS stations showed less than .10 or no precip at all. but the storms farther north along the southern to central sierra foothills were light to no precip. Should be an interesting day.

http://raws.wrh.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/roman/raws_ca_monitor.cgi?state=SOCC&rawsflag=2”

Our fire weather watch continues through tomorrow. I will update later from NWS.