SHASTA AND TRINITY COUNTIES, Calif. – An increase in fire danger posed by dead grass and hotter, drier conditions in Northern California has led to an announcement by CAL FIRE that all burn permits will be suspended on Monday, May 17, 2021, for outdoor and residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Shasta and Eastern Trinity Counties.
All residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves will be banned as of May 17th for the 2021 fire season.
According to CAL FIRE, the fire season in California and across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year.
CAL FIRE said climate change is considered a key driver of this trend, adding that, “warmer spring and summer temperatures, reduced snowpack, and earlier spring snowmelt, create long and more intense dry seasons that increase moisture stress of vegetation and make forests more susceptible to severe wildfire.”
“Last year, California experienced its most destructive fire season in the state’s known history,” said CAL FIRE Director and Chief Thom Porter.
“Together, we must continue to adapt and evolve to be able to withstand the intensity of these fires,” continued Chief Porter, who said the only way to minimize the damage the cause of the fire is through education, prevention, and mitigation.
“We are relying on the public to be ready,” announced Chief Porter. The sentiment was echoed by Shasta-Trinity Unit Chief Bret Gouvea, who is pushing education about home gardening and the maintenance of defensible space. “Residents need to be prepared,” Gouvea stressed.
According to CAL FIRE, the state has responded to 1,812 wildfires since the beginning of 2021. In 2020 California experienced its most destructive fire season in known history.
Chief Gouveau wants to make sure Shasta and Trinity County are prepared by having all residents maintain a minimum of 100 feet of defensive space around every home and building. Also, he wants every citizen to be prepared to evacuate if and when the time comes.
Other CAL FIRE tips include landscaping with fire-resistant plants and non-flammable ground cover.
They also suggest people find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris such as chipping or hauling to a biomass energy or green waste facility.
According to CAL FIRE, temporary burning permits may be issued if there is an “essential reason due to public health and safety.” They 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 suspension of burn permits 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.
Campfire permits are required for open fires, such as campfire, barbecues, and portable stoves on federally controlled lands and private lands that are the property of another person. On private lands, written permission from the landowner is also required for campfires.
A campfire permit can be obtained at local fire stations or online by CLICKING HERE. We have also embedded a video about operating safe campfires in this article.
There is more information on creating and maintaining defensible space, hardening your home, and planning evacuations AT THIS WEBPAGE called “Ready for Wildfire.”