A prescribed burn near the intersection of Highway 49 and Pool Station Road in San Andreas will commence again Tuesday morning, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit (TCU) announced in a press release Monday.

The initial controlled burn was cancelled last week after a two-acre spot fire sparked outside of the initial project boundary.

Recalling the incident, Division Chief Charlie Blankenheim said the wind started picking up, with gusts close to 12 mph.

The fire, which started in a brush patch, was contained by on-scene crews before aircraft and other resources arrived, he said.

Blankenheim said personnel waited a few hours and continued the project when weather conditions – wind speeds, temperatures and humidity levels – allowed, but there’s still a portion of the project area left to finish.

The agency aims to burn a total of 125 acres of annual grasses, oak woodland and scattered chaparral species at the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) property. PAWS provides homes to abused, injured and abandoned captive wildlife adjacent to the burn units.

The goal is to create a defensible area of reduced vegetation between Highway 12 and the community of San Andreas, thus alleviating the threat of a potential wildfire to the wildlife sanctuary and adjacent residential subdivisions. Secondary benefits include reducing noxious weeds, including Yellow Starthistle, and providing firefighters training on live fire.

The burn should start between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday, and is expected to last 6 to 8 hours.

Smoke may be visible near the Highway 49, Pool Station Road intersection, and the community of San Andreas.

Cooperating agencies assisting Cal Fire with the burn include the San Andreas Fire Protection District and the Calaveras County Air Pollution Control District.

Firefighters will remain at scene until all hotspots are out, the agency stated.



Davis graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Environmental Studies. He covers environmental issues, agriculture, fire and local government. Davis spends his free time playing guitar and hiking with his dog, Penny.

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