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East County News Service

December 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—If you see smoke over the backcountry, be aware that the Cleveland National Forest will conduct prescribed burning from December 2014 through June of 2015 as weather and fuel conditions permit on the Trabuco, Palomar and Descanso Ranger Districts. The goal of the burning is to reduce hazardous fuels that have accumulated in the Forest and around local communities.

Forest Supervisor William Metz said, “Prescribed fire projects help protect communities by reducing adjacent forest vegetation and fuels while increasing opportunities for firefighters to get the upper-hand on wildfires sooner.  Prescribed fire also supports our ecological restoration goals by protecting wildlife habitat and important watershed areas and values.”

Below is additional information provided by the U.S. Forest Service:

Highly trained Forest Service crews prepare for prescribed fire by cutting excess trees and shrubs during the summer months and by burning that vegetation in the winter during specific weather conditions that allow for safe operations and minimal smoke disruption. 

By burning the extra fuels in forested and chaparral areas under less severe conditions prescribed fire also supports ecological restoration as fire is re-introduced into ecosystems that depend upon it for re-generation.  Prescribed burning and removal of fuels also helps to reduce the intensity of wildfires during the summer months.

Please contact your local Ranger District for additional information.

The Trabuco Ranger District projects will cover approximately 500-700 acres around the communities of Rancho Carrillo, Rancho Capistrano, Decker Canyon and El Cariso.

·         The North Main Divide Fuel Break, situated above the City of Corona, and located along Eagle Truck Trail Road.

·         Contact: Trabuco Battalion Chief Jacob Gipson at 951-736-1811.

The Palomar Ranger District will be treating 300-700 acres near the communities of San Diego Country Estates, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Julian, Warner Springs, and Palomar Mountain. 

·         The areas consist of southern California chaparral, oak woodlands and mixed conifer forest in the higher elevation of Palomar Mountain. 

·         Contact: Palomar Fuels Battalion Chief Tim Gray at 619-209-1414.

The Descanso Ranger District is treating approximately 500-700 acres near the communities of Mount Laguna, Alpine, and Pine Valley. 

·         The Alpine area prescribed burn is located south-east of Alpine in the community of Carveacre. The area consists of southern California chaparral.

·         The Corte Madera prescribed burn is located south of Pine Valley consisting of masticated and standing southern California chaparral.

·         The prescribed burn on Mount Laguna will be conducted along the old Wooded Hill Road, north of Sunrise Highway and west of the town of Mount Laguna.       

·         Contact: Descanso Battalion Chief Rick Marinelli 619-445-6235.