MADERA/MARIPOSA COUNTIES – Recent rains and cooler temperatures across the region have lowered the threat of wildfires allowing Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit (MMU) to transition out of fire season effective Monday, Dec.15, at 8 a.m. in Madera, Mariposa and Merced Counties.
Cal Fire MMU Chief Nancy Koerperich reminds citizens that this has been an especially devastating fire season for our Unit.
“Locally we experienced 6 major wildfires, destroying close to 50 structures,” says Koerperich. “We are proceeding cautiously by allowing hazard reduction burning and ask residents to please remember to follow all rules and regulations.”
As drought conditions continue to have a hold on California, CAL FIRE is maintaining staffing that meets the current threat, as well as strategically moving 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 the weather conditions change or if there is a need to support wildfires in other areas of the State.
The 2014 fire season has been an extremely active year. Statewide CAL FIRE and firefighters from many local agencies battled over 5,500 wildfires within the State Responsibility Area that burned nearly 91,000 acres. This number is over 1,000 more wildfires this year than normal.
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’s a permissive burn day by contacting your local air pollution control district and then make sure you have any and all required burn permits. During burning make sure that piles of landscape debris are no larger than four feet in diameter, provide a 10 ft. clearance down to bare mineral soil around the burn pile, and make sure that a responsible adult is in attendance at all times with a water source and a shovel.
For more ways to prevent sparking a wildfire visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.