On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Assistant Fire Engine Operator Andy Ruiz of the San Bernardino National Forest cleans up and waters down hot spots during the prescribed burn along the Pine Cove Fuel Break. The U.S. Forest Service conducted a prescribed burn in Pine Cove area last week and plans to continue the burning of piles of slash this week.
Photo by Steven King
The U.S. Forest Service will continue to conduct pile burns this week along the Pine Cove Fuel Break.

The Forest Service has an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 piles to burn in the Pine Cove area. The burn area is about 230 acres and is one of the larger projects in the San Bernardino National Forest this winter.

The burns were planned for this winter and the weather this week is an opportunity to conduct them.

The Pine Cove Fuel Break burn project could last throughout the week. If conditions persist, the agency may continue burning throughout the month and into March, according to Zach Behrens, public affairs officer for the SBNF.

Burns are also being conducted in the Big Bear Lake area and near City Creek along Highway 330 in San Bernardino County.

Piles, which are burned, are the result of forest thinning of shrubs and low-hanging tree branches.

Smoke may be seen in the air. Drivers in the area should slow down for personnel on the sides of local roads.

For more information and background on this and other prescribed burns, visit www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd569405.pdf. The public can also check in on planned prescribed burns by calling 909-382-2711 or following the forest on Twitter at @SanBernardinoNF.