CAMINO — Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire wants to remind everyone that being fire safe saves lives and property.
“Last year 23 percent of our wildland fires in Amador and El Dorado counties were from residential landscape debris piles that escaped the control of the person in charge causing wildland fires,” Keenan said. “To reduce your risk of causing a wildland fire, take steps today to safely burn your debris piles when the ground is still damp from the recent storms. I strongly encourage everyone to get an early start now when it is safe to burn the piles versus later in the year when it is riskier to burn residential landscape debris piles due to drier, hotter conditions.”
Safety tips for burning
• Make sure your pile(s) are no larger than four 4 by 4 feet in size,
• Scrape a 10 foot wide ring around each debris pile down to bare dirt,
• Have a shovel and water supply (charged hose) close by to use in the event your fire escapes from the pile,
• Make sure an adult is in attendance until the pile is completely extinguished,
• You can only burn on “permissive burn days” so make sure to call your local Air Quality Management District immediately prior to lighting your pile(s). For El Dorado County call (530) 621-5897 or (866) 621-5897.
Residential burn permits will be required beginning Tuesday, May 1. These permits are issued to the public free of charge, are valid for three years from the date of issuance and allows for the burning of dry vegetation (not household trash) that originates on the landowners property. You can pick up your free residential burn permit at most of the local staffed fire stations.
Don’t forget that the use of burn barrels is no longer legal in Amador or El Dorado counties.
For tips on residential landscape debris burning safety or other fire and life safety topics, please visit fire.ca.gov to view short videos or to download fact sheets.
For alternatives to burning your piles, please contact the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council at edcfiresafe.org for details on their available programs.