By Miriam Raftery
Cal Fire has declared a high fire hazard as we enter the holiday weekend. Already this year, Cal Fire has responded to 2,118 fires – a 70% increase over the average for this same time period in recent years.
In an effort to reduce the amount of fires caused by open burning and shooting within the County of San Diego, CAL FIRE has declared a high fire hazard.
Shooting is already illegal on federal Bureau of Land Management lands. Numerous fire starts from target shooting on BLM lands, was the impetus for that ban. Target shooters using steel core ammunition and steel targets have been the cause of several fires in the Dulzura/Marron Valley area--specifically, Sycamore Canyon off Highway 94, Joyce Schlachter at the BLM has informed ECM.
Due to the drought, Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce water use by 20%. Cal Fire director, Chief Ken Pimolott has announced that in support of the Governor’s Drought State of Emergency, he is ordering all county chiefs to issue local proclamations suspending burning on state responsibility area lands effective immediately. The order bans burning on 31 million acres statewide.
Open burning is suspended for individuals as well as for forest management and industrial permitted burns. Campfires are also banned except for established campground facilities with campfire rings or private property if the campfire is maintained to prevent spread to wildland vegetation.
In addition, Cal fire has issued a ban on shooting on public lands during these high fire hazard times. The ban affects target shooting on state-controlled lands but does not apply to shooting ranges or to hunting. Private property is also exempted from the order, if brush has been cleared to prevent igniting brush or flammable materials.
Residents are urged to visit www.ReadyforWildfire.org for tips on how to prepare your homes and family for wildfire, as well as find important water saving tips. Remember, conserving water now is crucial to assure that water resources will be available when needed to fight fires.
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