The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit (TCU) announced on Monday that it is transitioning out of fire season.
“Recent rains and cooler temperatures across the region have lowered the threat of wildfires, allowing Cal Fire’s TCU to transition out of fire season effective Monday, Dec. 28, at 8 a.m. within the State Responsibility Area of Tuolumne, Calaveras, Eastern Stanislaus and Eastern San Joaquin counties,” a press release from Cal Fire TCU reads.
County residents can now burn on permissive burn days without a permit from Cal Fire.
“Although Cal Fire burn permits are not required at this time, residents are urged to take appropriate precautions to prevent sparking a wildfire,” Cal Fire TCU Unit Chief Nick Casci said in the release. “If residents choose to burn, it is their responsibility to maintain control of their fire.”
During the winter months, Cal Fire will focus on “reducing the impacts of large, damaging wildfires and improving overall forest health,” the release reads.
“Cal Fire will continue to actively focus efforts on fire prevention and fuels treatment as guided by the State Strategic Fire Plan and localized Unit fire plan,” the release reads. “These will be done through public education, prescribed burns and various types of fuel reduction.”
Although Cal Fire TCU is transitioning to “open burning,” residents are urged to maintain control of their fires and to always contact their local air pollution control district to determine if it’s a permissive burn day before burning.
The Calaveras County Air Pollution Control District’s Burn Line can be reached at (209) 754-6600.
“The 2020 fire season has been a historically active year, even more so than in the past several years,” the release reads. “As of Dec. 21, 2020, statewide, Cal Fire and firefighters from many local agencies battled over 8,112 wildfires within the State Responsibility Area that burned nearly 1.4 million acres. This is over 2,425 more wildfires and over 996,000 more acres this year than normal. Statewide, 4.2 million acres have burned in total across federal, state and local jurisdictions.”
For tips on burning safely, visit readyforwildfire.org.