A controlled burn to clear excess vegetation just west of Lake Skinner in the French Valley area will be conducted over two days, beginning Wednesday morning.

Firefighters will conduct a pile burning operation on five acres of land northeast of Auld and Borel roads within the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve, according to the Riverside County Fire Department, which advises residents and motorists not to be alarmed by the smoke.

The operation is planned from about 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days.

“The pile burning operation is a part of a pre-fire plan to keep a major fire from moving onto the reserve,” according to a fire department statement. ” In addition, the fuel-modified zone will better enable the fire department to keep fires that might start in the reserve from advancing into surrounding communities.”

The reserve comprises about 14,000 acres near both Lake Skinner and Diamond Valley Lake. It is home to about 31 sensitive bird, animal and plant species.

Fire officials said smoke will be visible but will quickly dissipate.

Anyone with questions or concerns was asked to contact the county fire public information bureau at 951-940-6985.

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