Felton – CAL FIRE would like wish the public a Happy Holidays. Even so we still need to remind the public that even with the New Year’s Holiday occurring in the winter period, this year’s extremely dry fuel conditions, require extra care when dealing with fire. This includes the use of Fireworks, Sky Lanterns and bonfires.
Each year numerous injuries occur to members of the public when participating in these types of activities around the holidays. This year’s heightened risk of fire escapes and catastrophic wildfires similar to what occurred in Big Sur before Christmas only enhances the dangers associated with these activities.
Normally by this time of year, San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties would have received over 12” of rainfall, so far, we are at 2.5”. We would also experience an estimated small 5 Wildland fire calls in November and December but this year we have had 31. For this reason, CAL FIRE has also proclaimed a burn ban in both Santa Clara and Santa Cruz CAL FIRE units. This bans outdoor burning except campfires in both units.
The public should note that Fireworks are still illegal to possess, sell or use in 98% of San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties. In Santa Cruz County there is a $1,000 enhancement on fireworks related citations around January 1st just like July 4th
So far this season we have already experienced 15 escaped fires from pile burns this winter. The public must remember that they are both legally and financially liable for any fire that they lose control over.
This includes fire started from Fireworks and other activities involving fire including Sky Lanterns and debris piles.
CAL FIRE reminds everyone that it is their individual responsibility to use fire safely and to prevent fires.
This includes the proper disposal of fireplace ashes and the maintenance and care of safety monitors such as Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors.
Visit www.ReadyforWildfire.org for more information on how to prepare for and prevent wildfires. Please be fire safe and have a Happy Holidays.