Information provided by Cal Fire San Benito-Monterey Unit.
Effective June 29 at 8 a.m., areas under contract with Cal Fire in San Benito and Monterey counties are banned from all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris.
“The last few years saw devastating reminders that the public cannot let their guard down. Together, we must continue to adapt and evolve to be able to withstand the intensity of these fires, keeping in mind, that the only way to mitigate the damage they cause is through prevention and preparation,” Cal Fire Director Thom Porter said in a June 24 release. “The potential is great for the dry, hot weather that fueled the massive fires over the last few years will return again this year, so it is up to the public to be ready.”
David Fulcher, Cal Fire San Benito-Monterey Unit chief, said, “The recent vegetation fires in San Benito and Monterey counties showcase the importance of defensible space.”
Substantial rainfall this winter and spring has created a significant crop of annual grass that has now cured. The brush and trees have begun their summer transition to highly flammable vegetation.
The release said that since Jan. 1, Cal Fire and firefighters across the state have already responded to over 3,100 wildfires that have burned over 19,000 acres.
“We can’t predict when and where a wildfire will start, but all of us can prepare. Visit ReadyForWildfire.org,” said Fulcher.
Cal Fire asks residents to be prepared for wildfires, including maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of defensible space around every home. Here are some tips to help prepare your 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
The press release stated that Cal Fire might 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 bum site and issues a special permit. Persons burning under any special permit must also check with the Monterey Bay Air Resources District for additional regulations and requirements.
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 or online at PreventWildfireCA.org.
For additional information on preparing for and preventing wildfu·es visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.