Controlled Burn Set for Thursday Near I-5


Motorists traveling along Interstate 5 near Avery Parkway on Thursday morning are being warned to expect a controlled burn near the freeway.

The fire will be started about 8:30 a.m. and cover approximately an acre, city code enforcement Officer Bruce Sharp said.

Two Orange County Fire Authority fire engines, a patrol unit and water truck will monitor the controlled burn, he said.


Piles of vegetation had tumbled down a 50-foot embankment of Oso Creek on private land over a period of at least 18 months and the owner didn’t have the funds to pay for workers to clear the property, Sharp said.

“He is about 80 years old and his property manager is about the same age,” he said. “They were going to attempt to do it themselves.”

Fire Inspector Rick Finnerty said that because the debris is mostly piled at the bottom of a creek bed “there is very little hazard.”

“There’s no place for the fire to go,” he said. “Just in case, we’ll have equipment on hand.”

Finnerty said the Fire Authority will not charge the city for assigning personnel to the controlled burn, which will last about four hours.

As a city that contracts with the Orange County Fire Authority: “This is a service that we are providing the city of San Juan Capistrano,” Finnerty said. “The cost will be real minimal.”