While recent rains this winter and spring have been a welcome sight in California, drought conditions continue to increase fire danger in the region prompting Cal Fire to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of San Diego and Imperial Counties.
Cal Fire is responsible for wildland areas that are outside of city limits. So within the Escondido area Cal Fire has responsibility for Deer Springs Fire Protection District and some other parts of unincorporated Escondido.
This suspension takes effect June 13, 2016 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris like branches and leaves.
“San Diego lives with the threat of wildfire year round and it is critical that the public do their part to be extra fire safe when outdoors,” said Tony Mecham CAL FIRE San Diego Unit and County Fire Chief.
“As conditions across California are drying out further we must take every step to prevent new wildfires from sparking,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director. “Residents must ensure they have Defensible Space by removing dead trees and overgrown vegetation from around their homes, but do so safely.”
Since January 1, 2016, Cal Fire and firefighters across the state have already responded to over 1,700 wildfires that have burned nearly 30,000 acres. In the Cal Fire San Diego Unit, firefighters have responded to over 75 wildfires. While outdoor burning of landscape debris by homeowners is no longer allowed, Cal Fire is asking residents to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires by maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of Defensible Space around every home.
Here are some tips to help prepare homes and property:
• Clear all dead and or dying vegetation 100 feet from around all structures.
• Landscape with fire resistant/drought tolerant plants
• Find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris like chipping or hauling it to a biomass energy facility
The department may issue restricted temporary burning permits if there is an essential reason due to public health and safety. Agriculture, land management, fire training, and other industrial-type burning may proceed if a Cal Fire official inspects the burn site and issues a special permit.
The suspension of burn permits for residential landscape debris does not apply to campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property. 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 fire stations and online at PreventWildfireCA.org.
For additional information on how to create Defensible Space, as well as tips to prevent wildfires, visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.