Fiery summer ahead? |

Fiery summer ahead?

Although fire officials aren’t ready to definitely forecast fire danger levels, many are concerned dry winter and spring months will equal increased fire potential this summer.

The El Dorado County Air Resources Board banned burning on 52 days this year, up two days from last year. The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has stopped prescribed burns for the summer.

Bryan Zollner, deputy chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire, said drought conditions and record high temperatures across the state could mean increased fire danger over last year.

He said burning bans have been issued across the state.

Fire has already ravaged more than 14,000 acres of California forests and 1,000 Nevada acres in 2001.

However, the damage is just a fraction of the more than 300,000 acres destroyed this year in drought-stricken Florida.

Steve Harcourt, resource manager for the Amador and El Dorado forests, said burn permits probably won’t be issued to basin residents much this year.

He suggests El Dorado County residents have their brush chipped instead of burning it.

If residents neatly stack their slash at the street, the Tahoe Regreen program will chip it for them. The Regreen office can be reached at 541-2433.

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