California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Amador-El Dorado Unit
CONTACT: Teri Mizuhara, Fire Prevention Specialist II, 530.708.2724
Camino - A recent increase in escape vegetation debris pile burns has prompted CAL FIRE to remind everyone just what can happen when a person loses control of their burn piles. "If someone loses control of their vegetation burn pile, they can be cited and billed for the cost of putting out (suppressing) the fire. Burning is a privilege and with it comes the responsibility to manage the fires and to make sure they are completely out before leaving them" cautions CAL FIRE's Amador-El Dorado Unit Chief Kelly Keenan.
"These are considered "nuisance fires" and we spend a lot of time and money suppressing these fires. They are 100% preventable. The person burning the piles simply needs to make sure the piles our "dead out". Just like the campfire you build when you are out in the forest, you pour water on it and stir it until you are sure the fire is completely out. You should be doing the same thing with debris piles. Pour enough water on them and dig the area up with a shovel to make sure there are no hot ashes smoldering underground" adds Chief Keenan.
To reduce your risk of starting a wildfire follow these simple steps:
Keep your vegetation debris pile no larger than 4 feet in diameter
Remember, you can only burn on "permissive burn days" so don't forget to call your local Air Quality Management District immediately prior to lighting your pile(s). For Amador County please call (209) 223-6246 and for El Dorado County call (530) 621-5897."
Don't forget that the use of burn barrels is no longer legal in El Dorado or Amador counties. For tips on burning your debris piles safely or other fire safety topics, please visit the CAL FIRE website at www.fire.ca.gov for fact sheets.