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Cal Fire suspends burn permits

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Defensible space can save your home

Despite a burn ban starting Saturday, it is important for residents to be prepared for fire, according to Cal Fire officials. Defensible space around a home helps firefighters defend the property. By simply completing these steps, homeowners can dramatically increase the chances of their home surviving a wildfire:

·     Remove all flammable vegetation 30 feet from all structures

·     In an additional 70 feet, create a reduced fuel zone by spacing trees and plants from each other.

·     Clear all needles and leaves from roofs, eaves, and rain gutters.

·     Trim branches six feet from the ground.

·     Remove branches 10 feet from all chimneys.

·     Landscape with fire resistant plants

For more information, visit www.fire.ca.gov 

Starting Saturday residents in Placer County will no longer be able to get a burn permit going into the summer season. Cal Fire officials announced Wednesday that burn permits will be suspected effective Saturday due to “unseasonably” dry conditions. “Despite the recent, light rain, conditions in the foothills and the high country remain unseasonably dry for this time of year. Warming temperatures, dry winds, and very dry fuel moisture levels have prompted this early fire season response,” said Tom Quinn, Tahoe National Forest Supervisor. “We have already seen fire activity that is not normally observed until late July or August. The unusual lack of rain this past winter and spring prompted the early burn ban and fire restrictions,” said Chief Brad Harris of the Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit. Beginning June 1, the burn permit suspension applies to areas in Nevada, Yuba and Placer counties that fall within state responsibility area and local jurisdiction under contract with Cal Fire. Anyone who burns in violation of the suspension will be subject to civil or criminal action and could face cost recovery charges for fire suppression response. All fires or smoke reported will be considered a wildfire and a full suppression response will be dispatched to the scene. In the Tahoe National Forest, beginning June 1, campfires are not permitted in the backcountry but only in developed campgrounds and other designated sites (in the metal rings/grills provided). Portable stoves, including those that use gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are permitted in backcountry areas with a valid campfire permit. Propane-type barbecues can be used outside designated sites where camping is permitted, but charcoal barbecues can only be used in designated campgrounds. Smoking is only permitted in an enclosed vehicle or developed recreation site. Internal combustion engines, including off highway vehicles (OHV’s) can continue to be operated on roads or motorized trails and within the Prosser Pits OHV area. The personal wood cutting program will continue to operate, as long as individuals have a valid woodcutting permit and follow the conditions on the permit. Campfire permits are free and are available at all Forest Service, BLM, or Cal Fire offices. For more information on these restrictions, visit www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe or call the Forest Service office in Foresthill at (530) 367-2224. ~ Staff report