San Andreas – After another wet winter and above average snowpack, warming temperatures and winds are quickly drying out the abundant annual grass crop. The increasing fire danger posed by the high volume of dead grass and hotter, drier conditions in the region is prompting CAL FIRE Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit (TCU) to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Calaveras, Tuolumne, Eastern San Joaquin, and Eastern Stanislaus Counties. This suspension takes effect June 19, 2023 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves.
“Even though winter conditions produced above average rainfall and snowpack, community members are encouraged to exercise wildfire preparedness measures by creating defensible space and hardening their homes. It is imperative these actions are conducted in a safe manner by utilizing alternatives to burning such as green waste disposal or chipping during the dry summer months ahead,” states Deputy Unit Chief Kevin Bohall.
Since January 1, 2023 CAL FIRE and firefighters across the state have already responded to 1,639 wildfires. While outdoor burning of landscape debris by homeowners is no longer allowed, CAL FIRE TCU is asking residents to take that extra time to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires by maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of Defensible Space around every home and buildings on their property and being prepared to evacuate if the time comes.
Here are some tips to help prepare homes and property:
- Clear all dead and or dying vegetation 100 feet from around all structures.
- Landscape with fire resistant plants and non-flammable ground cover.
- Find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris like chipping or hauling it to a biomass energy or green waste facility.
CAL FIRE TCU may issue restricted temporary burning permits if there is an essential reason due to public health and safety. Agriculture, land management, fire training, and other industrial-type burning may proceed if a CAL FIRE TCU official inspects the burn site and issues a special permit.
The suspension of burn permits for residential landscape debris does not apply to campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property. Campfires may be permitted if the campfire is maintained in such a manner as to prevent its spread to the wildland. A campfire permit can be obtained at local fire stations or online at PreventWildfireCA.org.
For additional information on how to create Defensible Space, on how to be prepared for wildfires, as well as tips to prevent wildfires, visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.