State Forest officials want to remind the public while firefighters are hard at work preparing for wildfires, residents need to do their part more than ever in preventing human-caused fires.
Following a dry fall and winter, drought is emerging and expanding across California, specifically the northern part of the state, officials said. Long-range forecast data predicts overall warmer and drier than average conditions this spring for the western region of the country.
With that in mind, forest officials ask residents to conduct fuels reduction and defensible space work now and keep it maintained. Maintaining a defensible space requires routine upkeep, including pruning and removing dead branches and leaves.
Make sure to do fuels reduction during cooler mornings, when the humidity is higher. Do not leave any burning debris piles unattended. A responsible adult is required by law to be in attendance until the fire is out, and burning permits are required for residents in county jurisdiction and Corning city limits.
Forest officials said 25 percent of human-caused fires are from unattended campfires, and offer these campfire tips:
- Clear all flammable material away from the fire for a minimum of five feet in all directions.
- Make a fire only if you have a shovel and sufficient water to put it out.
- Have a responsible person in attendance at all times.
- Never leave your campfire unattended.
- Never build a campfire on a windy day.
- To make sure a campfire is out, drown with water and stir with dirt, making sure all burned materials are extinguished. Feel with your hand to make sure it’s out cold.
- Every campfire must be dead out before leaving.
The safety of the public, communities and all front-line responders remains the highest priority for all wildland fire agencies. Fewer human-caused fires help protect communities.