SACRAMENTO – California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Director Ken Pimlott has issued an order to suspend open burning across 31 million acres of State Responsibility Area (SRA) in California. The suspended burning order is part of CAL FIRE’s continued efforts to mitigate the increased threat of wildfire due to the state’s drought emergency.
“The increase in fire activity this year, coupled with record-setting drought conditions, requires us to take every step possible to prevent new wildfires from starting,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director.
“In support of the Governor’s Drought State of Emergency, I am ordering each of the 21 unit chiefs and six contract county chiefs to issue local proclamations suspending burning on State Responsibility Area lands in their respective jurisdictions, effective no later than July 1, 2014.”
The process of geographically specific burn bans will allow for greater flexibility to cancel individual bans locally during the fall months if conditions warrant.
The localized proclamations will include suspension of all residential burn permits, forest management, hazard abatement, and other industrial-type permitted burning. Campfires may still be allowed in designated campsites. For information, visit your nearest CAL FIRE station – http://calfire.ca.gov/contacts/index.php.
CAL FIRE has already responded to 2,118 fires this year, a nearly 70% increase in the average number of fires for the same time period. Residents are urged to visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org for tips on how to prepare their homes and family for wildfire. The website also links to important water saving tips, a resource critical to the control of wildfires.
Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent and prevent water waste. Visit saveourH2O.org to find out how everyone can do their part, and visit drought.ca.gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.