High PM Concentration in Westmorland
Saturday 02 April 2022 12:34 PM
Location: Westmorland, CA, USA
There was a crop burning Saturday afternoon that smoked out the city of Westmorland. The PM concentration was 51 but it smells like smoke all over the city and made It difficult to breath. If this burn was prescribed, it should not have been allowed. The wind was blowing to Westmorland. Uninformed planning.
04/04/2022: This report was forwarded to the local APCD. As always please remember " If this is an air pollution problem first call the Imperial Valley Air Pollution Control District hotline (442) 265-1800 and then file a complaint here on this website". Thank you.
05/05/2022: ICAPCD investigated this report, which was regarding, “a crop burning Saturday afternoon that smoked out the city of Westmorland,” which was reported as in progress to IVAN on Saturday April 2, 2022 at 12:34 p.m. ICAPCD Enforcement Staff scheduled a special burn of 10 acres of sugar cane on the eastern side of Spruce 1-66, located near the intersection of Hovley Rd. and Andre Rd. in Brawley, CA on Friday April 1, 2022. ICAPCD Staff traveled to the requested burn location at 12:00 p.m. that same day to evaluate the real-time weather conditions in order to approve the burn to proceed. Staff noted at this time that winds were coming from the southeast (SE) at 5 mph. ICAPCD Staff told the company to proceed with the burn, but to make sure that at least one person remains at the site until the fire is completely out and finished. The client stated they fully understood.
On Saturday April 2, 2022, ICAPCD did not schedule any agricultural fields for burning. At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday April 2nd, the ICAPCD became aware of a field burning north of Brawley. ICAPCD Enforcement Staff traveled to the location shortly after receiving notification of the burn from Imperial County Fire Department. Staff witnessed that the burn was from Spruce 1-66, the same location as the sugar cane burn scheduled and approved the previous day on April 1st. ICAPCD Staff met with the client, who had a crew onsite responding the fire, and stated they were unsure how the burn started and that it was accidental. The client first became aware of smoke and a small fire at 10:00 a.m. from a field mechanic. At that time, ICAPCD Staff noted that winds were coming from the SE at 5-10 mph, with the smoke drifting toward Westmorland, CA. Based on the site investigation, and other associated information provided by the client, the ICAPCD issued a Notice of Violation to the responsible company for failure to comply with ICAPCD Rule 701, Agricultural Burning.