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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Lancaster

Prescribed Burn Will Help Poppies Thrive

November 20, 2000|GRACE E. JANG

The idea is that fire refines the golden hue of California poppies.

In an annual effort to stimulate poppy growth, the Los Angeles County Fire Department will burn 33 acres of nonnative plants and seeds at the California Poppy Reserve on Tuesday, state park officials said.

"The purpose . . . is to protect and perpetuate outstanding displays of native wildflowers, particularly the California poppy," John Crossman, resource ecologist for the state Department of Parks and Recreation, said in a statement.

Burning the brush clears the area for growth in the spring. The soil is then more receptive to poppy seeds, officials said.

Weather permitting, the prescribed burn near Avenue I and 240th Street West will begin at 9 a.m. and be completed by midday, Capt. Joe Lindaman, director of prescribed burns, said Sunday.

The Fire Department will deploy up to 150 firefighters, seven fire engines and a helicopter for the project to ensure safety, Lindaman said.

The state has conducted prescribed burns at the poppy reserve since 1994.

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