MARIPOSA — More than 90 personnel from the Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit (MMU) of Cal Fire have been sent to Southern California to assist with the massive firefighting efforts.
They join the ranks of more than 5,700 firefighters currently on the front lines as six major wildfires continue their devastation from Ventura to San Diego County, forcing nearly 200,000 people from their homes.
As of today, MMU has sent three strike teams of engines (5 engines plus one Battalion Chief per strike team), two 20-person hand crews, and two dozers to the SoCal fires. Paid Call Firefighters (PCFs) have been called up to staff stations left unmanned.
With so many MMU personnel out of the unit, everyone is reminded to use extra caution and follow the law when it comes to burning.
Today, Dec. 8, is a no-burn day in all areas, no matter your elevation. Residents need to acquire burn permits – available at any Cal Fire station free of charge – and follow the instructions on the permit.
Every day, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District updates permissible burn days, usually by 4 p.m., for the following day. You are required to call 1-877-HAZ-BURN (1-877-429-2876) to find out if you can burn, and that information is printed on your burn permit.
Burn days are evaluated and designated based on air quality, NOT by weather conditions. And as Cal Fire often reminds everyone – just because it’s a burn day doesn’t mean it’s safe to burn.
The burn permit says you must not burn during hot and dry periods, or when winds are strong enough that burning would be considered unsafe.
Your fire must be attended at all times by at least one responsible person, and confined within cleared firebreaks or barriers adequate to prevent it from escaping your control.
The permit does not relieve you of the responsibility of using “reasonable and prudent care to prevent damage to the property of others or injury to persons as prescribed by law. In the event of negligence, which results in escape of the fire requiring suppression action, the Permittee will be held liable for suppression costs and/or penalties.”