MARIPOSA – While recent rains this winter and spring have been a welcome sight in California, drought conditions continue to increase fire danger in the region prompting Cal Fire to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Madera, Mariposa and Merced Counties.
This suspension took effect June 17, and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris like branches and leaves.
“The rains did help, but with the increased fire activity, temperatures and winds, we must be vigilant in the protection of the citizens and land from a wildland fire, especially among the millions of dead and dying trees,” said Cal Fire Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit Chief, Nancy Koerperich,
“As conditions across California are drying out further we must take every step to prevent new wildfires from sparking,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director. “Residents must ensure they have Defensible Space by removing dead trees and overgrown vegetation from around their homes, but do so safely.”
Since Jan. 1, Cal Fire and firefighters across the state have already responded to over 1,900 wildfires that have burned over 30,000 acres. In the Cal Fire Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit (MMU), firefighters have responded to 148 wildfires.
While outdoor burning of landscape debris by homeowners is no longer allowed, Cal Fire is asking residents to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires by maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of Defensible Space around every home.
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/drought tolerant plants.
• Find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris like chipping or hauling it to a biomass energy 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 and online at PreventWildfireCA.org.
For additional information on how to create Defensible Space, as well as tips to prevent wildfires, visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.