(CBS SF) — Cal Fire has suspended all permits for outdoor residential burning starting Monday in areas of Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties that are not served by a city or county fire department, Cal Fire officials said Thursday.
The suspension is meant to reduce the risk of wildfires during the drought.
The agency is asking residents to be prepared for wildfires by maintaining at least 100 feet around their home free from dead or dying vegetation.
The suspension includes the burning of branches and leaves, according to Cal Fire.
Fire prevention specialist Pam Temmermand said in addition Cal Fire officials are asking residents to remove dead or dying shrubs and mow or use a weed wacker to trim grass, but not less than 4 inches tall.
Cal Fire officials are asking residents to trim tree limbs on trees that are on a flat surface to six feet above the ground and trim limbs of trees that are on a slope to 10 feet above the ground, Temmermand said.
The guidelines apply to both live and dead trees, Temmermand said.
She said the trimming will reduce the chance a fire will jump from the ground into a tree.
Cal Fire officials are also asking residents to clean the leaves off their roof.
“With record-setting drought conditions we must take every step possible to prevent new wildfires from starting,” Cal Fire director Chief Ken Pimlott said in a statement. “One Less Spark, means One Less Wildfire.”
Cal Fire has responded to significantly more wildfires this year than the annual average. The agency is encouraging residents to find other ways of disposing of landscape debris such as chipping or bringing it to a biomass energy station.
Cal Fire officials are allowing campfires on private property or in organized campgrounds if campers maintain the fire so it doesn’t spark a wildfire.
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