This week, Cal Fire, in cooperation with California State Parks, will be conducting prescribed burns of brush and slash piles in the Mt. San Jacinto State Park from Tuesday, March 29, through Thursday, March 31.

On Tuesday, the burn took place in the area of Thousand Trails Park in Pine Cove. On Wednesday and Thursday, the burn will be in the area off Highway 243 and Azalea Trails.

Residents in Idyllwild, Pine Cove and surrounding mountain communities or anyone traveling on Highway 243 may see smoke from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the days of the burn. In the unlikely event you smell smoke, county officials urge you to take precautions to reduce any harmful health effects by limiting outdoor activities

The final burn dates will be determined by permissive burn-day availability and weather. Cal Fire will have multiple resources, including engines, fire crews and overhead personnel, to complete the burn project.

This burn is being conducted as part of the Cal Fire Vegetation Management Program and is intended to reduce hazardous vegetation and wildland fuels in an area considered to be at high risk for large and damaging wildfires. Prescribed burns are conducted to help reduce the wildfire risk and promote biodiversity through the development of young trees, shrubs and grasses in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

The prescribed burn was planned and coordinated with the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Air Resources Board in order to minimize the smoke impacts on surrounding communities. The burn is dependent on weather and air-quality conditions that are favorable for smoke dispersal. If the conditions are not as desired, the burn will be rescheduled.

For more information and questions, contact Fire Capt. Ron Earls at the Garner Valley Fire Station, 951-659-5353, or Fire Capt. Michael Sebastian at the Mountain Resource Center at 951-659-3329.

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