Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Cal Fire reports that May 1 brings requirements for burn permits

ST. HELENA – The Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) announced that burn permits are required effective Saturday, May 1.

Burn permits are required for any type of open burning in State Responsibility Areas (SRA) of Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Yolo and Colusa counties.

State Responsibility Areas are generally the unincorporated, rural, grass, brush and timber covered portions of California.

“It will only take a few weeks of sunshine and spring winds to turn the green grass brown so please take care while burning,” said Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit Chief Ernie Loveless.

Cal Fire officials emphasize that the agency's permit requirements are in addition to any air quality control district and local fire agency permits. It is the responsibility of anyone planning to have a controlled burn to make sure they meet all permit requirements.

Lake County has a countywide ban on open burning which goes into effect on May 1. Some exemptions for agricultural burning may be granted. Contact Lake County Air Quality for information on the burn ban in Lake County, telephone 707-263-7000.

In Napa, southwestern Solano, and southern Sonoma counties permissive burn season ends April 30 for crop replacement, forest management, orchard pruning and attrition, and range management.

Anyone conducting open burning must keep the fire within permit requirements at all times. Failure to maintain control of the fire will result in the permit becoming void and the possibility of the permittee having to pay for fire suppression costs, fines, and civil damages.

Basic requirements include continual monitoring by a responsible adult, at least 10 foot clearance to bare mineral soil around the pile, and adequate control resources (tools, water, etc.).

Open burning should not be conducted when winds exceed 10 miles per hour.

With the approach of fire season, Chief Loveless urges residents to make sure that their property has defensible space against wildland fire.

Changes in state law have increased the required clearance around structures from 30 feet to 100 feet.

For more information on burn permits or wildland fire safety, residents may contact their local Cal Fire facility for more information, or go to the Cal Fire Web site at

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