Watch CBS News

Firefighters begin controlled burn intended to eliminate more than 2,500 acres of overgrowth in San Bernardino National Forest

Firefighters started a controlled burn intended to torch more than 2,500 acres of overgrowth in the San Bernardino National Forest on Monday, which will continue for at least the next week. 

The blaze was started near Anza at around 7 a.m. and is focused on Thomas Mountain, which sits south of Lake Hemet and just west of Highway 74, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. 

"The San Jacinto Ranger District intends to complete approximately 2,500 acres," the agency said on Monday, noting that a similar prescribed burn happened in the summer of 2023 on the 6,825-foot Thomas Mountain. 

A sign informs the public of a prescribed burn being implemented by San Bernardino National Forest fire personnel in the Angelus Oaks area, December 2018. Personnel, information boards and signs might be placed on some roads and other local areas to inform the public of the type of prescribed fire activity. USDA Forest Service

Operations are expected to continue until at least June 17, but could be extended as long as necessary and depending on weather conditions, rangers noted. 

Residents are urged not to be alarmed by the rising plumes of smoke from the burn, which are intended to clear dead and excess vegetation from the area that could be fuel for wildfires. It will likely be visible from places like the Anza Valley, Temecula Valley, Coachella Valley, Idyllwild and parts of northern San Diego County. 

Dirt roads in the area are going to be closed to through traffic, crews said, but highways running through the preserve will still be open. 

More information on the controlled burn is available on the USDA Forest Service website

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.