Bureau of Land Management to conduct controlled burn along Clear Creek

Prescribed burn will remove yellow starthistle, reduce wildland fire risk and improve wildlife habitat

Green field under cloudy sky. Ryan O'Dell/BLM

MARINA, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management plans to burn invasive yellow starthistle on roughly 20 acres of BLM-managed public lands along Coalinga Road near the entrance of the Clear Creek Management Area south of Hollister, in San Benito County. The prescribed burn is scheduled to start Tuesday, June 1, dependent on weather and air quality conditions.

The prescribed burn will help reduce available fuel that could feed wildland fires near campgrounds, protect the threatened San Benito evening primrose and eliminate non-native yellow starthistle. The Central Coast Field Office received a grant from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to help pay for the prescribed burn as reducing noxious weeds helps rejuvenate native grasses, which may improve habitat for elk, deer, turkey, quail and wild pigs. There are three elk subspecies in California: Rocky Mountain, Roosevelt and Tule elk. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation works to protect crucial elk winter and summer ranges, migration corridors, calving grounds and other areas vital to elk and other wildlife.

The BLM uses an Integrated Weed Management Strategy, which includes herbicide application, sheep and goat grazing, and prescribed fire, to kill invasive weeds like medusahead and yellow starthistle plants before they have a chance to set seed. Prescribed fire helps restore balance to the ecosystem.

The BLM is committed to keeping public landscapes healthy and productive. The exact timing of the prescribed burn will depend on temperature, wind and relative humidity, and is being conducted in close coordination with the Monterey Bay Air Resources District. Smoke may be visible to nearby rural landowners. Updated information will be provided on BLM California social media sites using #RxBurn.

Permit holders will still be granted access to the Clear Creek Management Area during burn operations. For more information, please call the Central Coast Field Office at 831-582-2200.

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

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Bureau of Land Management


Central Coast Field Office


Serena Baker