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Drought Bans Open Burning

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Sacramento, CA — Open burning has been banned on 31 million acres of land throughout California due to the lingering drought and hike in wildfires.

Cal Fire Spokesperson Lynne Tolmachofff says, “The state firefighting agency has already responded to 2,118 fires this year. That is nearly a 70 percent of average for this time of year.”

Armed with those numbers, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott announced today that his 21 unit chiefs and six contract county fire chiefs have been ordered to issue local burning suspensions on State Responsibility Area (SRA) lands by July 1.

Pimlott says, “The increase in fire activity this year, coupled with record-setting drought conditions, requires us to take every step possible to prevent new wildfires from starting.”

The bans on SRA lands total more than 48,000 square miles. It includes suspension of all residential burn permits and burning for forest management, hazard abatement and industrial purposes. Campfires may be exempted from the ban in designated areas. Any local bans already in place must still be followed. Cal Fire recommends you call your local unit to find out what bans exist in your area.