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Published on May 28, 2024
CAL FIRE San Diego Ignites Controlled Burn to Mitigate Wildfire Risk Near Pine ValleySource: CAL FIRE San Diego

CAL FIRE San Diego conducted a controlled burn at the Corte Madera Vegetation Management Project, just south of Pine Valley, to reduce the risk of wildfires in Southern California. On May 8, fire crews set 30 acres ablaze to manage the shrubbery, felling dead oak trees and limbs that had become a significant fire hazard. According to an Instagram post by CAL FIRE San Diego, this land had not been scorched by flames for over half a century. It was ripe with highly flammable dead vegetation due to persistent drought and an infestation of the goldspotted oak borer.

The restoration of fire to this landscape, which has been neglected by flame since the Laguna Fire of 1970, is seen by fire authorities as a preventative measure against future catastrophic wildfires. The controlled burn recycled the deadwood back into the earth and provided a live training exercise for aspiring firefighters, including those from the California Conservation Corps, enabling these greenhorns to witness fire behavior in a contained environment.

Under the supervising eyes of veterans, the younger CAL FIRE firefighters and Corpsmembers from the California Conservation Corps experienced the wiles of wildfires within the safety of a controlled setting. These controlled burns are part of CAL FIRE's larger strategy designed to tackle the problematic vegetation that has stubbornly clung to life while threatening to ferry the region into a maelstrom of fire.

While this burn was a triumph in forest management and firefighting training, local communities are consistently reminded of the importance of ongoing vigilance when dealing with fire in such a dry region.