Controlled Burn in Cleveland National Forest
LAKE ELSINORE (CNS) – A controlled burn by federal firefighters in the Cleveland National Forest just west of Lake Elsinore Tuesday prompted calls to 911, but authorities reminded the public that it was a confined blaze to eliminate overgrowth.
The Riverside County Fire Department and California Highway Patrol began receiving calls about 10:30 a.m. regarding rising smoke columns just north of the Ortega (74) Highway, along the rim of the Santa Ana Mountains, less than five miles west of Lake Elsinore.
It was soon confirmed to be a controlled burn, or “fuel treatment,” to reduce excess foliage, officials said.
It was unclear why the U.S. Forest Service had not alerted surrounding agencies that the operation was planned Tuesday.
“Smoke is visible in Orange County, Riverside County, Corona and surrounding communities,” the USFS said in a statement.
The agency posted minimal information on its web portal, saying only that the burn was targeting an unspecified number of acres within the preserve.
Officials asked the public not to be alarmed — and not to call 911 if they see the smoke.
Additional information is available at https://inciweb.wildfire.gov/incident-information/cacnf-2024-cleveland-national- forest-fuel-treatments.
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