IDYLLWILD, Calif.- -
Information regarding prescribed burns, including when and where they're happening, is available from the Forest Service at (909) 382-2711.
U.S. Forest Service fire crews today began another round of controlled burns west of Idyllwild to eliminate piles of excess vegetation that might otherwise feed wildfires in the San Bernardino National Forest.
The prescribed burns began last week as winter weather moved into Southern California, lowering temperatures and generating light rain in some locations. USFS spokesman Zach Behrens said that as long as conditions remain stable, the burning of slash piles will continue.
Last week's activity generated columns of smoke in the area of Pine Cove and Idyllwild, along state Route 243, prompting calls to 911 about possible wildfire outbreaks. Behrens advised motorists not to be alarmed if they spot smoke in the same area this week.
The California Highway Patrol and other agencies are aware of the operations.
According to Behrens, burns today and for the remainder of the week on the Riverside County side of the San Bernardino National Forest are focused throughout the so-called ``Pine Cove Fuel Break,'' where 2,000 to 3,000 piles of deadwood, overgrown brush and foliage covering about 230 acres are being torched.
``Reducing these fuels help reduce the risk of wildfire affecting communities, infrastructure and watersheds,'' Behrens said.
Additional controlled burns are happening near Big Bear and Running Springs, and operations could be scheduled into March if conditions permit, according to the Forest Service spokesman.
Behrens cautioned drivers to slow down if they see crews walking along the side of the highway or other roads.
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