Sacramento, CA, August 17, 2012, 8:00am – California’s dry conditions and high temperatures, along with increased fire activity, has prompted the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) to suspend all burning permits and open fire within the State Responsibility Area of California. The burn ban suspends all residential burn permits, forest management, hazard abatement, and other industrial-type permitted burning within the 31 million acres of State Responsibility Area. Over 8,000 Cal Fire, local and federal firefighters are on the frontlines of nearly a dozen major wildfires in California, according to Cal Fire’s Director, and with conditions being so dry, he says the agency needs to take every step possible to prevent new wildfires from starting. Campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property are allowed only if they are in a designated campfire site that prevents fire from spreading outside the site. The burning suspension will remain in effect until there is a significant change in weather conditions or until the end of fire season.
Here are some tips citizens can use to prevent wildfires:
— Do defensible space clearing before 10 a.m. and never on a hot and windy day.
— Don’t toss cigarettes out a car window.
— Don’t pull off into dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires that can’t be seen easily by the driver.
— Check with local officials for additional fire restrictions.
In wildland areas, spark arresters are required on all portable gasoline powered equipment. This includes tractors, chainsaws, weedeaters, mowers, motorcycles and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles).
Report any suspicious activity. Call the Cal Fire Arson Hotline at (800) 468-4408.
Nearly 95 percent of all wildland fires within Cal Fire’s jurisdiction are human-caused and Cal Fire is asking the public to do its part in preventing wildfires.