San Diego County’s parks department plans to start safely burning collected piles of vegetation and trees in Julian’s Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve and William Heise County Park to remove fire hazards and fight the spread of the goldspotted oak borer pest.
The controlled burns would be conducted between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays when weather conditions allow, from December through April 2013, the county said.
Cal Fire staff will work with the county during the burns to ensure they’re done safely. The Department of Parks and Recreation is also working with the County’s Air Pollution Control District to develop smoke-management plans for each site.
In addition to removing excess dead vegetation that can become dangerous fuel for wildfires, the burns will help destroy invasive goldspotted oak borers, which live beneath the bark of dead oaks for more than a year before exiting as adults.
University of California scientists say the goldspotted oak borer has killed approximately 80,000 oak trees in San Diego County since 2002 and remains a major economic and ecological threat.
For more information about the parks department’s controlled burns contact Supervising Park Ranger Roger Covalt at 760-765-4093.
—County News Center