CAMINO— Burn permits were required as of May 1, Cal Fire announced.
“In 2012, 23 percent of all wildfires in the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire were caused by residential debris burning. This amounted to a total of 47 fires and 52 acres burned,” said Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire. “Escaped debris burning continues to be our No. 1 cause of wildland fires in Amador and El Dorado Counties. However, by following some simple precautions, the number of escapes can be significantly reduced. Please remember that every debris burn escape is a threat to people, property and natural resources. To reduce your risk of causing a wildland fire, review the steps listed below to safely burn your debris piles.”
Chief Keenan added, “I strongly encourage everyone to get an early start now when it is safer to burn the piles versus later in the year when it is riskier to burn due to drier, hotter conditions.”
Safety tips for burning:
• Make sure your pile(s) are no larger than 4-feet-by-4-feet in size.
• Scrape a 10-foot-wide ring around each debris pile down to bare dirt.
• Have a shovel and water supply (charged hose) close by to use in the event your fire escapes from the pile.
• Make sure an adult is in attendance until the pile is completely extinguished.
• You can only burn on “permissive burn days” so make sure to call your local Air Quality Management District immediately prior to lighting your pile(s). For El Dorado County call 530-621-5897 or 866-621-5897.
Residential burn permits are issued to the public free of charge, are valid for three years from the date of issuance and allows for the burning of dry vegetation (not household trash) that originates on the landowner’s property. You can pick up your free residential burn permit at most of the local staffed fire stations.
Don’t forget that the use of burn barrels is no longer legal in Amador or El Dorado counties.
For tips on residential landscape debris burning safety or other fire and life safety topics, please visit the Cal Fire Website at fire.ca.gov to view short videos or to download fact sheets.
For alternatives to burning your piles, please contact the Alpine Fire Safe Council at alpinefiresafe.org, Amador Fire Safe Council at amadorfiresafe.org or the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council at edcfiresafe.org for details on their available programs.