The Forest Service is to begin prescribed burns today, weather permitting.
This year's first controlled burn is planned for 400 acres on the Calaveras Ranger District over the next two weeks. Flames can be expected in the following spots:
A half-mile north of White Pines Lake along the ridge between San Antonio and O'Neil creeks;
Valley View Road between Sheep Ranch Road and Lakemont Pines;
Hathaway Pines Work Center at Highway 4 and Hunter Dam Road.
Smoke might also be visible along the Highway 4 corridor from Forest Meadows east to Camp Connell.
Prescribed burns are lit to clean the forest floor of debris that could fuel a wild fire later on, Forest Service officials said. Monitoring the flames are firefighters who work with county air pollution control districts and the California Air Resources Board to minimize the effects of smoke on nearby residents.