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California banning burning on 31 million acres

Published On: Jun 18 2014 02:25:04 PM CDT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -

Open burning is being banned on 31 million acres of land throughout California because of the threat wildfires due to the lengthening drought.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott announced Wednesday that his 21 unit chiefs and six contract county fire chiefs have been ordered to issue local burning suspensions by July 1.

The state firefighting agency has already responded to more than 2,100 fires this year, a 70 percent increase over the average number for the same time period.

The bans in state responsibility areas totaling more than 48,000 square miles include suspension of all residential burn permits and burning for forest management, hazard abatement and industrial purposes.

Campfires may be exempted from the ban in designated areas. For information, contact your nearest Cal Fire station.

“The increase in fire activity this year, coupled with record-setting drought conditions, requires us to take every step possible to prevent new wildfires from starting,” said Pimlott in a release.

Cal Fire already has responded to 2,118 fires this year -- almost a 70 percent increase in the average number of fires for the same time period.