In yet another reminder that all good things eventually come to an end, Cal Fire announced it will suspend all permits for outdoor residential burning in Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties, as well as western portions of Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties beginning Friday.
Months of steady winter rains are now a fading memory, and the agency said the abundant grass crop that resulted is starting to dry out because of winds and warming temperatures. High volumes of dead grass and hotter and drier conditions in the regions have increased the fire danger, Cal Fire said.
“This suspension takes effect June 30, 2023, and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves,” the agency said in a news release.
According to Cal Fire, since the beginning of the year firefighters across the state have responded to over 1,900 wildfires that burned over 6,700 acres.
Other areas such as Napa and Solano counties were given the burn notice suspension last week.
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However, the suspension of burn permits for residential landscape debris does not apply to campfires that are within organized campgrounds or on private property.
George Huang, the Santa Clara Unit Chief, said in a statement that residents should get ready by creating or maintaining 100 feet of defensible space around their home by removing all dead or dying grass and bush.
Restricted temporary burning permits may be issued if an essential reason is provided due to public health and safety, the agency said.
“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 news release stated.
Tips to prepare residential homes and properties for the fire season include landscaping with fire resistant plants and non-flammable ground cover and finding alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris such as chipping or hauling it to a biomass energy or green waste facility.
Residents can check a county’s current burn status on the Cal Fire website.