The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) announced on Wednesday that it will lift its burn permit suspension in the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit (TCU) at 8 a.m. on Friday.
Cal Fire TCU Unit Chief Nick Casci is formally canceling the suspension, and those possessing current and valid burn permits will be able to resume burning on permissible burn days.
The order affects State Responsibility Areas within Tuolumne County, Calaveras County, Eastern Stanislaus County and Eastern San Joaquin County.
“Cal Fire burn permits will be required until the end of fire season,” a press release from Cal Fire TCU reads. “Property owners and residents are asked to use caution while conducting debris burns. While cooler temperatures have helped to diminish the threat of wildfire, it is imperative to follow the terms of your permit which is proven to help prevent fire escapes. Individuals can be held civilly and/or criminally liable for allowing a fire to escape their control and/or burn onto neighboring property.”
Until the end of the peak fire season, agriculture burns must be inspected by Cal Fire prior to burning. Inspections may also be required for burns other than agriculture burns, and this can be verified by contacting the local air quality management district.
To get a Cal Fire residential burn permit, visit burnpermit.fire.ca.gov/apply-for-a-permit.
“The website is the preferred method of obtaining a permit and provides for minimal contact in compliance with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines,” the release states. “Applicants will watch a three-minute educational video, fill out an online application, print the permit and once signed the permit will be valid.”
Those unable to obtain a permit online are advised to call Cal Fire TCU headquarters at (209) 754-3831 for assistance during normal business hours, which are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Residents are responsible for checking burn day status before conducting a burn by calling Calaveras County Air Pollution Control District at (209) 754-6600.
Requirements for pile burning include: “only dry, natural vegetative material such as leaves, pine needles and tree trimmings may be burned; the burning of trash, painted wood or other debris is not allowed; do not burn on windy days; piles shall be no larger than four feet in diameter and in height (you can add to pile as it burns down); clear a 10-foot diameter down to bare soil around your piles; have a shovel and a water source nearby; and an adult is required to be in attendance of the fire at all times,” the release states.