Federal firefighters conduct prescribed burn near Mountain Center

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Diane Sieker photo
Slash pile burning Friday, Feb. 25, by federal firefighters in the San Bernardino National Forest, near Mountain Center, prompted 911 reports of a wildfire, but the U.S. Forest Service reminded motorists and residents that it was a prescribed burn.Crews are working to eliminate roughly 600 acres of excess foliage on the Riverside County side of the 676,000-acre national preserve.Controlled burns have been scheduled on a recurring basis since November, whenever conditions are appropriate, with no threat of high winds or extremely low humidity.The burn operation Friday morning was initiated southeast of Mountain Center, according to the USFS. The smoke was visible from multiple points along Highway 74 in Mountain Center and surrounding communities, leading to the 911 calls, accor
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