SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Starting May 1, Cal Fire will require residents in Bay Area and neighboring fire units to obtain a burn permit for any outdoor open burning in rural, unincorporated areas.

Monday, Cal Fire announced the permit would be required of people in State Responsibility Areas, areas that are generally rural, unincorporated and covered with grass, brush or timber, within the Mendocino, San Mateo-Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Sonoma-Lake-Napa units.

People who conduct open burning must keep the fire size within the issued permit requirements, at all times, according to department officials.

Cal Fire said open burning permits require continual monitoring of the fire, by an adult, a minimum clearance of at least 10 feet to bare mineral soil around the fire, and adequate control resources, such as water and tools to extinguish the fire.

Also, Cal Fire officials advised people not to burn on windy days due to the risk of escaping embers.

“Open burning requires local landowners to do their due diligences to ensure they are meeting all conditions set forth by authorizing agencies prior to conducting an open burn,” Cal Fire officials said in a statement.

According to fire district officials, if a person fails to maintain control of an open fire, their permit could be voided and the permit holder could be charged with the possibility of being responsible for fire suppression costs, civil damages and fines.

Burn permits from Cal Fire are required in addition to any other air quality control district and local fire agency permits, according to fire officials. For more information on burn permits and fire safety residents can visit www.fire.ca.gov.

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