Parts of North Coast may see periods of 'unhealthy' air this week due to prescribed burns

According to the North Coast Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD), prescribed burns throughout the North Coast will affect air quality over the next week.

Good weather conditions and reduced fire danger have opened potential windows for prescribed burn projects by local government agencies, tribes and burn cooperative groups. These prescribed burns are possible because these groups have the manpower and equipment necessary to burn safely. The current burn suspension for burning-by-permit holders will remain in effect until lifted by CALFIRE.

There are multiple large projects in Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity counties which will be conducted over the next week. The prescribed burn projects projected for the coming week are as follows:

  • Redwood National Park in the Bald Hills area
  • USFS in the Orleans, Gasquet and Mad River areas
  • CALFIRE in the area southeast of Kneeland and near Weott
  • BLM in the Lacks Creek area east of Hoopa tribal boundary
  • Mid-Klamath Watershed Council in Orleans and Siskiyou counties
  • Cultural Fire Management Council/Yurok Tribe in Weitchpec
  • Watershed Research Training Center in Weaverville and Hayfork

The NCUAQMD says Humboldt & Del Norte Counties should see no impacts from the prescribed burn projects and are expected to have “good” air quality depending on conditions and proximity. Smoke impacts in inland areas adjacent to the burns are forecast to be “moderate” with possible periods of “unhealthy for sensitive groups (USG),” or even brief periods of “unhealthy” depending on conditions and fire proximity.

  • Orleans: Beginning Wednesday, expect “moderate” to “USG” with possible brief periods of “unhealthy” beginning in the late afternoon and overnight depending on proximity to prescribed burn projects.
  • Gasquet: Beginning Thursday, expect “good” to “moderate” with brief periods of “USG” depending on conditions.

For Trinity County, the NCUAQMD says the Weaverville basin and Hayfork should see only localized impacts from prescribed burn projects, depending on conditions and project size. During the burns, air quality is expected to be “good” to “moderate” with periods of “USG” in the immediate proximity to the burn projects.

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