Prescribed burn in preserve suspended due to heat

TEMECULA – A controlled burn planned for today in the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, just west of Temecula, was called off due to concerns about the heat.

Riverside County firefighters today burned off about 105 acres of excess vegetation and had planned a 155-acre burn for Wednesday, but county fire department spokeswoman Jody Hagemann said that with temperatures expected to soar, the decision was made to halt further operations.

The agency will initiate the next prescribed burn after the weather cools, she said.

Today’s operation was concentrated in the area of Mesa de Colorado, where hand crews are working on cutting a fire break for the protection of residences in La Cresta, according to Hagemann.

Several controlled burns have been conducted countywide since the start of the year, without any complications.

The goal on each occasion is to remove non-native grasses, as well as reduce potential fuels for wildfires and give “firefighters … the opportunity to participate in valuable wildland fire suppressions training,” according to a fire department statement.

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