Tuesday, April 28, 2009

WildFire Season 2009: Burn Permits Required May 1 in SRA

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will require burning permits within State Responsibility Areas starting May 1st. Anyone desiring to burn debris can also only do it on permissive burn days, designated safe by CAL FIRE.

Calfire will begin requiring permits for residential burning within state responsibility areas of Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Butte, Nevada, Yuba, Lassen, Modoc, Placer, and Plumas counties starting this Friday.

Burn Permits Required May 1, 2009 in State responsibility areas:

Residents must obtain a valid burn permit and burn only on permissive burn days as determined by their local air district. Residents must follow all requirements listed on their burn permit.

Residents protected by CAL FIRE in State Responsibility Areas will be required to have a burn permit beginning Friday, May 1, 2009 if they wish to burn dooryard debris.

Burn permits are available at no charge from all CAL FIRE Fire Rescue Stations and the U.S. Forest Service ranger stations.

Burn pile guidelines that must be followed in order to burn safely and legally:

  • Burning only can be done during permissive hours.
  • Burn Hours 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - out cold at 11:00 a.m.
  • Only small piles of vegetative waste may be burned. - Limit pile size to 4 feet by 4 feet in diameter.
  • Burn barrels are no longer allowed.
  • Before burning call your local air pollution control district in order to find out if it is a permissive burn day

Burn Pile site guidelines:

  • Provide a 10' area free of flammable materials and vegetation around all burn piles and incinerators. - Clear all flammable material and vegetation within 10 feet of the outer edge of the burn pile. Limit pile size to 4 feet by 4 feet in diameter.
  • Only dry vegetative material such as leaves, pine needles and tree trimmings can be burned. - Absolutely no household trash or garbage can be burned.
  • Have a suitable water source available and an adult in attendance. - Have the tools and water necessary to suppress any escape from their burning operation. An adult must be in attendance with a shovel until the fire is put out.
  • Do not burn on windy days. Pay attention to weather conditions and forecasts. - No burning shall be undertaken unless weather conditions (particularly wind) are such that burning can be done safely.
  • Do not leave smoldering fires unattended.
  • Make sure that the fire is out when the control burn is completed.
  • You must have your signed permit in your possession while you are burning, and you are responsible for maintaining control of your fire at all times. - Permits are good for two years so check your expiration date. Residents must have their copy of the permit accessible when burning, Possession of a permit does not protect you if your burn escapes. You may still be held liable for any suppression costs.
  • Simple common sense can greatly reduce the chances of the fire escaping. If you don't feel it is safe to conduct a burn, then don't.
  • The yearly burn ban will be implemented on July 1st, 2009 or sooner if conditions warrant. Permits will then be suspended until the end of declared fire season.

Remember, persons burning are responsible to maintain control of their fire. If a fire escapes your control, you may be held criminally and civilly responsible for all costs associated with the suppression of the fire and the damage that it caused.

More Information: If you need further information about safe burning, please stop by your local fire station or contact CAL FIRE at 889-0111 or visit www.fire.ca.gov.

Prior to burning: Always call your local Air Pollution Control District with jurisdiction over your area, it is your responsibility to check burn day status.

Amador County Air Pollution Control District call (209) 223-6246.
Nevada County telephone number to confirm burn day status, including appropriate hours, at 274-7928.
Butte County Fire Rescue Fire Prevention Bureau at (530) 538-7888 or the U.S. Forest Service Feather River Ranger District at (530) 534-6500.
Lassen County air pollution control district at 251-8110.

Remember defensible space: A minimum of 100-foot clearances around structures is required by local fire agencies and the state of California. The first 30 feet is a good clearance, and the next 70 feet is good for spacing between trees and brush. This is called defensible space by the fire agencies and is necessary to help protect your home in the event of a wildland fire near your property.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.

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