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Source:  California State Parks

February 12, 2019 (San Diego's East County) - -The California Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection (CAL FIRE) are planning a prescribed burn in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park between January 29, 2019 and March 15, 2019.

The burn is in preparation for planting native seedlings as part of a Forest Health and Recovery project to restore the conifer forest in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. In 2003, the Cedar Fire burned 95 percent of the park’s forest at such high intensity that the seed bank and cone producing forest canopy were destroyed. The prescribed burn will open up space to plant the seedlings. It will also reduce the fuels in the area so that a potential future wildfire will be less intense and the restored forest will have a better chance for survival.

The prescribed burn is being planned and coordinated with the San Diego Air Pollution Control District in order to minimize the smoke impacts on surrounding communities. All burning depends on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable for smoke dispersal. If the conditions, such as weather or vegetation are not conducive for burning, the burn will be rescheduled.

Some public trails near the burn area may be closed the day of the burn. People traveling near the fire burn areas may see smoke from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the day of the burn. In the unlikely event you smell smoke, County officials urge you to take precautions and use common sense to reduce any harmful health effects by limiting outdoor activities.

Prescribed burns produce significantly less smoke than a wildfire does. If you see or smell smoke in your surroundings, officials recommend avoiding strenuous outdoor activity and remaining indoors as much as possible. These precautions are especially important for children, the elderly and people with respiratory and heart conditions. Please use extreme caution while driving near prescribed fire operations due to fire personnel and equipment in the area.

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