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Fire officials warn Marin County residents of upcoming controlled burns

Marin County officials have scheduled controlled burns for late May and June as part of an effort to provide annual training for firefighters and to eliminate fire fuel and reduce the potential for wildfires.

County officials say the first burn will be May 26 along the northern slope of Big Rock Ridge, behind the neighborhoods of Vineyard Road, Wildhorse Valley, Marin Highlands, Indian Valley and the County Club area of Ignacio.

The training area is part of privately-owned H-Ranch, except for a small section of the Indian Tree Open Space Preserve managed by Marin County Parks.

Marin County Battalion Chief Graham Groneman said county officials want to get the word out early so people understand what is — and is not — going on when they see the smoke.

He said:

“We know the smoke up on the hillsides will be seen from all over.”

He added:

“Our outreach will be extensive because we would like to reduce non-emergency calls to our 911 dispatchers once we get started. The dispatchers need to be ready to handle real emergencies.”

The next burns will be on May 27 and 28, and June 23, 24 and 25 in the westernmost areas of the ranch, just south of the residences off Vineyard Road. Fire personnel have been going door to door to notify about 150 residents who live closest to the burn site. Smoke and the smell of smoke will be prevalent from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on burn days.

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