CAL FIRE Suspends Burn Permits in San Diego County


News Release Issued by CAL FIRE on Monday, May 14 at 8am

After a dry winter, warming temperatures are quickly drying out the abundant annual grass crop. The increasing fire danger posed by the high volume of dead grass and hotter, drier conditions in the region is prompting CAL FIRE San Diego to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of San Diego County. This suspension takes effect May 14, 2018 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves.

“We are reminding the public that this last winter was dryer than last year,’ said Chief Tony Mecham, CAL FIRE San Diego/San Diego County Fire Chief. “The abundant dry grass will only serve as a fuse to the heavier vegetation that still covers our local open spaces.”|

“The importance of defensible space cannot be over emphasized, but just as important is that residents conduct their clearance activities in a safe and responsible manner.” said Chief Tony Mecham.

“This includes using the proper tools and limiting clearance activities to the early morning hours when the humidity is up and the temperatures are down.”

Since January 1, 2018 CAL FIRE and firefighters across the state have already responded to over 920 wildfires. While outdoor burning of landscape debris by homeowners is no longer allowed, CAL FIRE is asking residents to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires by maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of Defensible Space around every home and building on their property.

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 or green waste facility

The department may issue restricted temporary burning permits if there is an essential reason due to public health and safety. Agriculture, land management, fire training, and other industrial-type burning may proceed if a CAL FIRE official inspects the burn site and issues a special permit.

The suspension of burn permits for residential landscape debris 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 or online at

Residents should register all cell phones with AlertSanDiego to receive emergency notifications. This is especially important if landlines are no longer in the home. Residents can also download the SDEmergency App.

During an emergency, residents should stay updated on the latest local safety information by visiting the city’s website; following the city on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the handle @sanmarcoscity; registering for e-notifications; and turning radios to AM 1610.

For more information about how you can prepare for emergencies, visit or visit For red flag warning updates or to learn how you can do your part to reduce wildfire risk, visit CALFIRE’s website. For additional information on how to create Defensible Space, as well as tips to prevent wildfires, visit


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