Drought prompts ban on outdoor burning in San Diego, Imperial counties


Fire burning along SR-78 near San Marcos. (Credit: Bethany Navarro )

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SAN DIEGO – Although recent rains have been a welcome sight in California, drought conditions continue to increase fire danger prompting Cal Fire to suspend burn permits in San Diego and Imperial counties.

This suspension takes effect immediately and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris like branches and leaves.

“San Diego lives with the threat of wildfire year round and it is critical that the public do their part to be extra fire safe when outdoors” said Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham.

Residents are asked to remove dead trees and overgrown vegetation from around their homes to prevent new wildfires from sparking.

Since January 1, over 1,700 wildfires that have burned nearly 30,000 acres.  In the Cal Fire San Diego Unit, firefighters have responded to over 75 wildfires.

Here are some tips to help prepare homes and property:

  • Clear all dead and or dying vegetation 100 feet from around all structures.
  • Landscape with fire resistant/drought tolerant plants
  • Find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris like chipping or  hauling it to a biomass energy facility

The suspension does not apply to campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property.  Campfires may be permitted if the campfire is maintained in such a manner as to prevent its spread to the wildland.  A campfire permit can be obtained at local fire stations and online at PreventWildfireCA.org.

For additional information visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.

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