During the first two weeks of June, both the U.S. Forest Service and CAL
FIRE Riverside County Fire Department will be conducting prescribed

The Forest Service will be burning on Thomas Mountain, the site of the
first prescribed burn in the San Jacinto Ranger District this year. The
burning will begin June 10 and will last a week to 10 days, according to
Gus Gustavo Bahena, public affairs specialist for the Forest.

RCFD will be burning at Lake Mathews. This burn began Monday, June 3,
and will continue through Friday, June 14. The goal of this prescribed
burn is rehabilitation of habitat for the burrowing owl and Stephens’
Kangaroo Rat. Eliminating invasive and non-native grasses and weeds will
enable these species to more easily find food and build homes.

The USFS plans to burn about 2,500 acres on Thomas Mountain, which is
the same acreage as was burned in 2023.

Road closures will include Thomas Mountain Road 6S13 to 6S15 (Forest
Service roads) and Rouse Ridge Road 5S15 (Forest Service road), which
already has a closure.

There will also be a closure of Forest Service yellow post sites
(camping sites) on Thomas Mountain. The Ramona Trail 3E26 will also be
closed, according to Bahena.

These closures will be implemented for the safety of the public and fire
personnel. Personnel will be driving many large vehicles while
conducting the burn and patrolling the area.

Drift smoke may be visible on the Hill during these periods, but both
agencies expect it will disperse quickly and is not expected to be a
health hazard.

Burning operations typically begin after 6 a.m. The burning operation
will only occur on permissive burn days as determined by the South Coast
Air Quality Management District.