Cal Fire suspends burn permits in Monterey and San Benito Counties

As the Caldor Fire wreaks havoc through South Lake Tahoe, Cal Fire has decided to suspend all burn permits in Monterey and San Benito counties effective Wednesday at 8 a.m.

The suspension is for all burn permits within the State Responsibility Area and Local Responsibility Areas under contract with Cal Fire and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris.

“Current drought conditions have resulted in exceptionally low moisture content in both live and dead vegetation,” the statement said. “When vegetative moisture is low, the likelihood of fire igniting, and spreading is significantly increased.”

As of Aug. 24, 88% of California is in extreme or exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

“The excessive drought, predicted weather and current wildfire situation across the state reminds us that the public cannot let their guard down,” said Reno DiTullio Jr., Cal Fire San Benito-Monterey unit chief. “One ember can bring wildfire home. 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.”

According to Cal Fire, 6,959 wildfires have already burned over 1.8 million acres in California in 2021 alone.

Cal Fire is asking residents to ensure they are prepared for wildfires by maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of defensible space around every home. Cal Fire preparation tips include clearing all dead or dying vegetation 100 feet around all structures to create a defensible space, landscaping with fire resistance/drought tolerant plants and finding alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris like chipping or hauling it to a biomass energy facility.

Residential landscape debris, agriculture, land management and either industrial-type burning are no longer permitted until the suspension is lifted.

For more information on preparing for and preventing wildfires, visit https://www.readyforwildfire.org/.

Contributed by local news sources

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