Cal Fire has suspended all burn permits in Monterey and San Benito counties effective Sept. 1, due to drought and dangerous fire conditions.

In a news release, Cal Fire officials said 88 percent of the state is in extreme or exceptional drought.

“2021 has already seen over 1.6 million acres burn in California,” said Reno DiTullio Jr., Cal Fire San Benito-Monterey unit chief. “The excessive drought, predicted weather and current wildfire situation across the state reminds us that the public cannot let their guard down.”

One ember is all it takes to spark a fire, he said.

“We ask all Californians to help us help you by preventing new starts, creating and maintaining a defensible space, and being ready if wildfire strikes near you,” DiTullio said. “We’re ready for wildfire; are you?”

The suspension applies to all burn permits within the State Responsibility Area and Local Responsibility Areas under contract with Cal Fire.