2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 24 Oct 2003 20:14:30 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Ft. Ord Burn Out of Control (2 articles)
Fort Ord Burn Out Of Control 

1,000 Acres Of Thick Brush Burned 


POSTED: 3:30 p.m. PDT October 24, 2003
UPDATED: 6:18 p.m. PDT October 24, 2003
SEASIDE, Calif. -- A prescribed burn at the former Fort Ord has
blackened nearly 1,000 acres and is out of control, Action News reported
Friday afternoon. 

The burn started about 8:30 a.m. and the smoke from it could be seen for
miles as it drifted out over Monterey Bay and into some communities. 

About 500 acres of thick brush was scheduled to be burned in an effort
to remove thick ground cover so that crews can reach dangerous
unexploded ordinance that lies beneath. 

Earlier in the day, a spokesman for the company in charge of the burn,
Firestop, said it was a successful burn, although not everything went as
planned. Officials said the blaze did escape the fire line at one point,
forcing engineers to change their plans, but that it was not out of

"Wildfire is sometimes unpredictable. It has a tendency to do the things
it wants to do ... all we can do is plan for those contingencies, which
we did, and bringing it back into line when it gets outside of what
expected," Firestop spokesman Rich Foster said. 

More than 80 personnel, including 12 helicopters, are on hand to battle
the flames. 

Army officials said there are no more burns scheduled at the site until
next summer. 


for the entire story, see

Ford Ord burn spreads too far
Health officials say avoid smoke and those with health problems should
consider leaving area
Monterey Herald
Posted on Fri, Oct. 24, 2003

Air pollution and health specialists are advising Monterey Peninsula
residents to avoid contact with smoke from today's controlled burn at
Fort Ord and recommend that people with respiratory conditions to
consider leaving the area until the smoke dies down late today.

The fire spread out of control around noon but fire officials did not
expect it to threaten any structures. Seaside firefighters were poised
to join the battle to snuff some of the flames along Gen. Jim Moore

Doug Quetin of the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District
said thick smoke that drifted across populated areas from Seaside to
Pebble Beach could be causing health problems.

The bulk of the smoke is lofting out over the bay, as officials had
hoped, but the Peninsula is getting more of the plume than anticipated,
Quetin said about 11 a.m. today. District officials had logged about 20
calls of concern about the smoke by that time - including one from
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.

"What's happening is there's a downwash effect because of the ridge
right above Seaside. A good portion of the plume is fumigating the north
part of Seaside, (Highway) 218 and then clear into CHOMP, too," he said.
"That downwash effect is causing some stress on the part of some

The three-county air pollution district monitored conditions from its 10
permanent stations, plus four others set up in connection with the burn.

"We're recording [pollution] values that translate into 'health
effects,' meaning that if you're a really sensitive person you should
leave the area. If you have respiratory problems, cardiac problems, you
should get out of this smoke," he said. "We expect it to continue this
way pretty much throughout the day."


for the entire story, see


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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