CAL Fire Extinguishes Debris Burning In Mother Lode
San Andreas. CA – If you planned on debris burning this last weekend before the annual switch to permit burning in the Mother Lode, your time is up, and there is another twist this year.
While CAL Fire’s official day to suspend all burning this year is 8 a.m. on Monday, May 3rd, CAL Fire Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit spokesperson Emily Kilgore explains, “Normally, this time of year, we’re in open burning and then come May 1st we go to burn permits required. However, with the dry conditions and the extreme fire behavior that we’ve had recently, we’ve reached out to the Air Quality Pollution District. We’ve worked with them to develop and declare this weekend as no-burn days regardless of permit status.” That means no debris burning can be done effective today.
As drought conditions continue to increase fire danger in the region, since January 1, firefighters across the state have already responded to over 1,354 wildfires that have burned nearly 2,219 acres.
“Although debris burning is a useful tool to reduce flammable vegetation,” details TCU Unit Chief Nick Casci, “the conditions we are experiencing in the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit have reached the point where debris burning poses an unacceptable risk of starting an unwanted fire.”
Regarding escaped debris burns, CAL Fire TCU reports “an increase over the past couple of weeks.” That includes the Campo Fire, just yesterday (Wednesday, April 28), which is currently burning in the 150-acre Campo Seco area of Calaveras County, as reported here. Also, this month, four other escaped debris burn fires sparked enough concern that the unit put a reminder out to the public outlining safe burning, as detailed here.
Additionally, CAL Fire asks residents to make sure and maintain a minimum of 100 feet of Defensible Space around homes and provided these tips:
· Clear all dead or dying vegetation 100 feet around all structures.
· Landscape with fire-resistant/drought-tolerant plants
· Find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris like chipping.