Prescribed Burning to Begin Again Around Idyllwild

Prescribed Burning to Begin Again Around Idyllwild

Ceci Partridge & City New Service

U.S. Forest Service fire crews will resume a series of controlled burns in the San Bernardino National Forest around Idyllwild this week, following winter rains that reduced wildfire danger.

Operations began in early January but were halted when a Santa Ana windstorm arrived, then before they could begin again, winter weather covered the area, prolonging the hiatus.

Nearly 1,300 acres are targeted for reduction on the Riverside County side of the 676,000-acre San Bernardino National Forest. Most of the burns are focused just north of Idyllwild, along Highway 243, as well as Garner Valley south of Lake Hemet, and throughout the Cranston burn scar, southwest of Mountain Center.

A set schedule for the burns was not announced, but the USFS said operations will be closely monitored and immediately suspended when there are signs of increasing winds or extremely low humidity.

The USFS noted previously that “an overabundance of flammable brush” had built up in the last year, potentially enabling “wildfires to quickly spread toward communities and infrastructure.”

Officials said that different burn methods will be utilized. One will be broadcast burning, which entails removing vegetation over a large space with pre-determined boundaries. The other is slash pile burning, which as the name implies, involves torching piles of brush to clear space around fire stations, communications towers and other facilities.

No road closures have been announced in connection with the burns, which will be visible from area highways and freeways.

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