MARIPOSA – Recent rains and cooler temperatures across the region have lowered the threat of wildfires allowing Cal Fire’s MMU to transition out of peak fire season effective Friday, Nov. 17, at 8 a.m. in Madera, Mariposa and Merced Counties.
“Although we are seeing a small amount of rain and allowing burning to take place, we would like residents to be wary of the potential for fires to escape their control” said Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit Chief Nancy Koerperich.
“It is important to burn only when the wind is calm, maintain at least 10 feet of clearance around all burn piles and keep a water source and tool nearby. If a fire escapes control of the responsible party, they will be liable for the cost of the fire.”
Cal Fire will continue to maintain staffing to meet any potential threat, as well as maintaining the ability to strategically move resources to areas that remain at a higher threat level.
Cal Fire will also continue to monitor weather conditions closely and still has the ability to increase staffing should weather conditions change or if there is a need to support wildfires or other emergencies in other areas of the State.
The 2017 fire season has been an extremely active year, even more so than in 2016. Statewide, Cal Fire and firefighters from many local agencies responded to over 6,000 wildfires within the State Responsibility Area that burned nearly 505,000 acres. In the MMU Unit, Cal Fire responded to 208 wildfires that charred 85,746 acres.
During the cooler winter months, Cal Fire will continue to actively focus efforts on fire prevention and fuels treatment activities as guided by the State’s Strategic Fire Plan and localized Unit fire plans. These will be done through public education, prescribed burns and various types of fuel reduction. These activities are aimed at reducing the impacts of large, damaging wildfires and improving overall forest health.
Residents are urged to still take precautions outdoors in order to prevent sparking a wildfire. A leading cause of wildfires this time of year is from escaped landscape debris burning.
Before you burn, ensure it is a permissive burn day by contacting:
- Merced and Madera Counties: San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control at 800-665-2876
- Mariposa County Air Pollution Control: 209-966-2220
- Mariposa County Burn Day Information Line: 209-966-1200
Make sure you have any and all required burn permits. Permits are available at your local Cal Fire station.
During burning, make sure that piles of landscape debris are no larger than four feet in diameter, provide a 10ft. clearance down to bare mineral soil around the burn pile and ensure that a responsible adult is in attendance at all times with a water source and a shovel.
For more ways to burn safely visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.