Police / Fire

Cal Fire declares fire season in San Benito and Monterey Counties

State fire agency said substantial rainfall this winter and spring created significant crop of annual grass that has now cured. The brush and trees have begun their summer transition to highly flammable vegetation.

Information provided by Cal Fire.

As the Central Coast transitions into spring and summer, Cal Fire has declared fire season within the State Responsibility Area and Local Responsibility Areas under contract with Cal Fire in San Benito and Monterey Counties. The declaration takes effect on May 18 at 8 a.m.

“The recent heat waves and hillsides turning golden remind us of the importance of defensible space,” said David Fulcher, Cal Fire San Benito-Monterey Unit chief.

According to a recent release, substantial rainfall this winter and spring created a significant crop of annual grass that has now cured. The brush and trees have begun their summer transition to highly flammable vegetation.

“Please protect your life and property, as well as the lives of firefighters, by creating and maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of defensible space,” Fulcher said. “We’re ready for wildfire, are you?”

Since Jan. 1, Cal Fire and firefighters across the state have responded to over 1,100 wildfires that have burned over 1,800 acres.

“We can’t predict when and where a wildfire will start, but we can all be prepared,” Fulcher said. “Visit readyforwildfire.org.”

In the release, Cal Fire asks residents to ensure they are prepared for wildfires, including maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of defensible space around every home.

Here are some tips to help prepare home and property:

  • 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 or hauling it to a biomass energy facility

Cal Fire will continue to issue agricultural and range improvement burn permits until there is threat to public health and safety, the release said. The Monterey Bay Air Resources District restricts dooryard burning from May 1 to Nov. 30, annually. Campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds, or in established facilities on private property with permission of the landowner and jurisdictional authority. Persons burning under any special permit must also check with the Monterey Bay Air Resources District for additional regulations and requirements.

For additional information on preparing for and preventing wildfires, visit www.readyforwildfire.org.

BenitoLink Staff