In an effort to clear invasive plant species in the habitat of the western snowy plover, the U.S. Air Force 30th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight will be conducting controlled burns on Vandenberg Air Force Base during daylight hours from now until December 12. Dubbed the “Dunes Burn,” the operation will cover 95 to 440 acres-depending upon time and weather constraints-in the area northwest of Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 10.
According to the 30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office, invasive, non-native beach grass has permeated the dunes in that area, affecting western snowy plover habitat for the worse. Officials said the burn will follow guidelines set forth by the California Air Resource Board, and will not be done on days when the weather is deemed inappropriate. This stipulation is the reason for the long window for the project, and the widely varied acreage project site.