South County : Planned Burn of Brush Scheduled to Begin Today

This morning and again on Sunday, units of the Orange County Fire Department and the California Department of Forestry will conduct a planned burn of more than 1,900 acres of dense brush in the Verdugo and Gambino Canyon areas of southern Orange County.

According to county fire officials, the ongoing project in the fire-prone canyon areas creates buffer zones that aid firefighters in combating brush fires.

The access road into Gambino Canyon may be closed due to heavy smoke during the burn, to be conducted from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Sunday, said Pat Antrim, a Fire Department spokesman.

Although the firefighters don’t anticipate any problems, Antrim said five engine companies, a bulldozer and a water-carrying helicopter will be on hand in case things get out of control.


He said motorists on Ortega Highway may notice smoke, and the department’s switchboard is gearing up for plenty of calls this weekend.

Flyers announcing the burn have been distributed to residents of the affected area. Antrim said he hoped people in the area will know it’s a controlled burn.