Santa Rosa, CA – June 15, 2020 – The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has announced the burn suspension, beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 15, 2020, and bans all outdoor burning.
CAL FIRE has identified with 2020 starting out with February being the driest month since the 1850’s in California, warming temperatures and winds are quickly drying out the annual grass crop. The increasing fire danger posed by dead grass and hotter, drier conditions in the region is prompting CAL FIRE to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Yolo, and Colusa Counties. This suspension takes effect June 15, 2020 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves.
“As conditions across California and Sonoma County are drying out, we must take every step to prevent wildfires from igniting,” said James Williams, Sonoma County Fire Marshal. “Residents must ensure they have Defensible Space by removing dead trees and overgrown vegetation from around their homes. However, it is important to consider the weather before using tools. Do your vegetation management when conditions are moist and cool, early in the morning or after the heat of the day,” Williams continued.
Consistent with Sonoma County Code Section 13-72.1, the County of Sonoma Fire Prevention Division has placed the same open burning suspension in effect within unincorporated Sonoma County (including LRA) and will coordinate with CAL FIRE on lifting the burn suspension when conditions are safe. The burn suspension applies to all unincorporated areas within Sonoma County.
The burn suspension includes all open burning, though agricultural, forest management, fire training, and other industrial type burning may proceed if a CAL FIRE official has inspected the area and issued a permit.
The burn suspension helps by allowing a quick fire agency response to all fires observed after June 16, 2020, as they are assumed to be uncontrolled fires.
Although all fires cannot be prevented through a burn suspension, their numbers can be significantly reduced. Along with CAL FIRE, County of Sonoma Fire Prevention reminds everyone that it is each individual’s responsibility to help prevent fires that destroy lives, property and our wildlands. The burn suspension also helps prevent smoke impacts to the general public. Burn restrictions will remain in effect until CAL FIRE declares the end of fire season. Anyone responsible for open burning without a valid written exemption from the burn suspension may be subject to a citation, fines, and the cost of the fire agency response to extinguish the fire. For more information please visit: