Cal Fire: Controlled burns near UC Santa Cruz and Soledad

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - If you see smoke in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties on Tuesday, do not be alarmed. 

Cal Fire is conducting a prescribed burn on private property in the Gabilan Range near Soledad.

"The purpose of the project is to reduce flammable vegetation near the communities of Soledad and Gonzales, as well as increase available water and deer forage," said Cal Fire officials. 

Crews plan to burn up to 318 acres in the south Monterey County area. Fire officials said the controlled burn is weather dependent therefore Cal Fire worked closely with the National Weather Service's Monterey office and the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District for the forecast. 

Cal Fire said, "Firefighters want to ensure that wind direction carries any smoke away from Salinas Valley to minimize impacts."

A controlled burn is also taking place near UC Santa Cruz. Firefighters are conducting the burn near the Twin Gates along Empire Grade. 

The prescribed burn is a cooperative project with UC Santa Cruz and State Parks to reduce the threat of wildlife and enhance natural resources, said Cal Fire Santa Cruz. 

There may be temporary road and trail closures due to the burning operations. 

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