NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, a huge controlled burn grabbed the attention of many people Friday. Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles and it's raised concerns about air quality.
On Thursday, smoke from another prescribed burn impacted the air in parts of the Bay Area.
Big flames and plumes of smoke rose from remote Big Rock Ridge near Novato. More than 50 firefighters were not trying to put it out, but were making the fire grow.
This "controlled" burn operation was under the command of Marin County Fire Battalion Chief Graham Groneman, to eliminate acres of dry Manzanita and Chaparral.
"Getting in here and re-introducing fire under controlled conditions under little or no wind, helps us burn out this hazardous fuel and minimize the threat to our communities," Groneman said.
Firefighters say this is the largest controlled burn in decades; the goal was more than 130 acres but they ended up burning less due to air quality concerns.
Smoke from another controlled burn on Thursday impacted air quality in parts of Marin and San Francisco, prompting complaints from the public.
Firefighters admit, they walk a fine line when it comes to preserving air quality and public safety.
"I want to remind people of the years we were impacted by devastating wildfires, air quality was bad. If we can get out here and do this work to lessen the impact, we'll be better off by summer," Groneman added.
"I was leaving the parking lot and said, oh my gosh! I have to take a picture of it," said Sybil McWalters.
The smoke plume had McWalters from Greenbrae worried at first.
"As I was looking at it -- I know our firefighters are good in this area -- I'm not concerned I know they'll take care of it," she added.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District said it wasn't concerned about Friday's burn because smoke rose high into the atmosphere keeping air quality in the good to moderate range.
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