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Recent Rain Doesn't Mean You Can Burn

Cal Fire lifts statewide outdoor burn ban – local bans still in effect.

SACRAMENTO – California’s first significant rainfall of the season, combined with cooler temperatures, has allowed Cal Fire to lift the statewide burn ban effective Monday, Oct. 22.

Cal Fire had suspended all residential burn permits and various types of outdoor burning within the 31 million acres of State Responsibility Area on Aug. 15.While the statewide burn ban has been lifted, local burn bans set by Cal Fire’s 21 operational units may still be in effect. Each of the 21 Cal Fire unit chiefs will determine when local weather conditions will allow for safe outdoor burning.

Coarsegold Battalion Chief Chris Christopherson says burning is still not permitted in Madera County.

“The lifting of the statewide ban allows people to have campfires in designated areas,” says Christopherson. “However burning is still not allowed for hazard reduction in Madera County.”

Hazard reduction is, in fact, the only type of burning allowed at any time, and people must have a valid permit to do that. They must also call the Air Pollution Control District hotline before any burning is done. That toll-free number can be found on the permit.

“There are permits available at any Cal Fire facility, and they are free,” says Christopherson. “Burning will be allowed as soon as weather conditions warrant.”

“While the threat of wildfires has not diminished completely, many areas will be receiving enough rainfall to allow homeowners to safely burn outdoors once their local burn bans are lifted,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire Director. “It is still important that residents monitor the weather closely, as a warming trend could increase the fire threat.”

This fire season has kept firefighters across the state very busy as fire activity has been significantly higher this year. To date, there have been over 5,500 wildfires in Cal Fire’s jurisdiction that have burned nearly 130,000 acres, compared to last year when there were 4,100 wildfires during the same time period, charring over 55,000 acres.

Even with the cooler weather, there is still the possibility of wildfires and Cal Fire remains prepared to respond.

For more information on the burn ban and tips on safe burning visit the Cal Fire website at www.fire.ca.gov.

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