Cal Fire suspending burn permits next week in Alpine, El Dorado counties

Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — After a wet winter and above average snowpack, warming temperatures and winds are quickly drying out the abundant annual grass crop. 

The increasing fire danger posed by the high volume of dead grass and hotter, drier conditions in the region has prompted Cal Fire to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the state responsibility areas of Alpine, Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, and San Joaquin counties. 

This suspension takes effect at midnight on Monday, June 26, and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves.

“Although debris burning is useful to reduce flammable vegetation, the conditions in the Amador-El Dorado Unit have reached the point where debris burning poses an unacceptable risk of starting a wildfire and it is no longer safe for the public to perform these types of burns,” said AEU Chief Mike Blankenheim.

While outdoor burning of landscape debris by homeowners is no longer allowed, Cal Fire is asking residents to take that extra time to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires by maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of defensible space around every home and buildings on their property and being prepared to evacuate if the time comes.

Here are some tips to help prepare homes and property:
• Clear all dead and or dying vegetation 100 feet from around all structures.
• Landscape with fire resistant plants and non-flammable ground cover.
• Find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris like chipping or hauling it to a biomass energy or green waste facility.

The department may issue restricted temporary burning permits if there is an essential reason due to public health and safety. 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 for residential landscape debris does not apply to campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property. Campfires may be permitted if it is maintained in such a manner as to prevent its spread to the wildland. A campfire permit can be obtained at local fire stations or at

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