Crews on Thursday began removing highly flammable vegetation on both sides of Highway 108 to reduce the threat of wildfires in the Twain Harte area. The crews are comprised of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inmates supervised by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The vegetation is being removed along the highway, between the west and east entrances to Twain Harte, according to a Cal Fire news release. The project will continue until April and includes pile burning and chipping where feasible. Drivers moving through the area should use caution and be vigilant for smoke and the crews working along the highway. Cal Fire officials said roadsides are where most fires are ignited during the fire season, and there are several homes directly adjacent to this area. The project also will improve forest health by reducing the overstock of small conifers and a build-up of brush since the highway was built, officials said. Cal Fire Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit Chief Mike Noonan said this project will make it easier for firefighters to do their jobs. For more information about defensible space and fire safety, visit www.fire.ca.gov.