Santa Rosa, CA – June 17, 2019 – The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has announced the burn ban suspension, beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 17, 2019, and bans all outdoor burning except for campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property with landowner permission. The suspension of burn permits is implemented in response to the extremely high fire hazard conditions.
Consistent with Sonoma County Code Section 13-71(d), Sonoma County Fire Prevention has placed the same open burning suspension in effect within unincorporated Sonoma County and will coordinate with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on lifting the burn suspension when conditions are safe. The burn suspension applies to all unincorporated areas within Sonoma County. The burn suspension supports a quick fire agency response to all fires observed after June 17, 2019, as they are assumed to be uncontrolled fires.
Last year was a devastating reminder that the public cannot let their guard down. While outdoor burning of landscape debris by homeowners is no longer allowed, the County is encouraging homeowners to take actions to protect their properties. “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.
Experience has shown that suspending open burning is an effective way of preventing fire escapes, especially as California and Sonoma County enters the summer season of hotter and drier weather. Although all fires cannot be prevented through a burn suspension, their numbers can be significantly reduced. Along with CAL FIRE, Sonoma County 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 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.
Campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds, or in established facilities on private property, with permission of the jurisdictional authority. Campfires may be permitted if the campfire is maintained in such a manner as to prevent its spread to the wildland. A campfire permit can be obtained at local CAL FIRE fire stations. Persons burning under special permit must also check with their regional air quality management district for additional regulations and requirements.
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 visit: CAL FIRE at: <u>www.fire.ca.gov </u>or Sonoma County Fire Prevention at: <u>https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/PRMD/Fire-Prevention/</u>