Woodacre, CA – As drought conditions continue to increase fire danger in the region, the Marin County Fire Department has suspended all burn permits and Bay Area Air Quality Management District fire authorizations for outdoor open residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Marin County. The suspension takes effect May 1 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris including branches and leaves. The last day of permitted burns is April 30.
“We are entering the fourth consecutive year of drought in California,” said Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber. “Our vegetation is beginning to show signs of the stress placed on it, compounding the risk posed from wildfire. With funding from CAL FIRE, we will begin staffing for this fire season nearly 1½ months early.”
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention, commonly known as CAL FIRE, in March awarded more than $9.5 million in grants throughout the state for projects aimed at reducing the elevated threat of wildfires. Marin County Fire, in partnership with the nonprofit FIRESafe Marin, secured $123,200 in CAL FIRE grants to rewrite and update the county’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
“With record-setting drought conditions we must take every step possible to prevent new wildfires from starting,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “Our motto is ‘One less spark means one less wildfire.’”
Similar to last year, CAL FIRE and Marin County Fire have responded to significantly more wildfires than in an average year. Marin County Fire is asking residents to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires including maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of defensible space around every home.
Here are some tips to help prepare your home and property:
- Clear all dead or dying vegetation 100 feet around structures
- Landscape with fire-resistant, drought-tolerant plants
- Find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris; consider chipping or hauling to a biomass energy facility
Marin County Fire may issue restricted temporary burning permits if there is an essential reason due to public health, safety. Agriculture, land management, fire training, and other industrial-type burning may proceed if a Marin County Fire official inspects the burn site and issues a special permit. Campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds.
For additional information on preparing for and preventing wildfires, visit www.readysetgomarin.org.