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Auburn, Calif. June 11, 2020 – With 2020 starting out with February being the driest month since the 1850’s in California, warming temperatures and winds are quickly drying out the annual grass crop. The increasing fire danger posed by dead grass and hotter, drier conditions in the region is prompting CAL FIRE to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Nevada, Yuba and Placer Counties. This suspension takes effect 8:00 a.m. Monday June 15th, 2020 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves.

CAL FIRE Unit Chief Brian Estes states “California saw a less severe fire season last year, as compared to 2017 and 2018, but the snowpack was only 59% of normal on May 1st of 2020. The recent rains will have no effect on that. Grasses are already higher than average, and those rains will provide another few weeks of growth.” Chief Estes added, “CAL FIRE will go to peak staffing with all engines, crews, dozers, and aircraft on June 22nd.”

Since January 1, 2020 CAL FIRE and firefighters across the state have already responded to over 1,988 wildfires. While outdoor burning of landscape debris by homeowners is no longer allowed, CAL FIRE 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:

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  • 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

The department 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 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.