Fort Ord burn creates huge smoke plume
Monday, October 5, 2009
A huge smoke plume is rising from a controlled burn on Fort Ord and drifting toward the Salinas Valley. The burn was reignited this morning to finish clearing a 295-acre parcel about two miles east of Seaside, says U.S. Army spokesman Dan Carpenter.
About 87 acres were burned yesterday and depending on weather conditions the Army will burn the remaining 170 acres today, according to the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District.
The controversial burn is designed to clear vegetation so that munitions workers can remove unexploded ordnance from the former military base. Burn critics like the Fort Ord Environmental Justice Network contend the burn is putting residents at risk. "The soil at Fort Ord is littered with military munitions and toxic chemicals, which are released into the air when the Army ignites the fires," a justice network press release says.
The Army will post updates on its hotline at 1-800-852-9699 and web site, www.fortordcleanup.com.