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Cal Fire announced Thursday that it was suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Solano, Yolo and Colusa counties, citing how quickly the countryside is drying out.

This suspension takes effect Monday at 8 a.m. and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves.

“Last year was a devastating reminder that the public cannot let their guard down,” said Chief Thom Porter, Cal Fire director. “The dry, hot weather that fueled the massive fires last year will return again this year, so it is up to the public to be ready.”

Cal Fire asks people to avoid mowing on hot and dry days and maintain 100 feet of defensible space around their homes.

Since Jan. 1, Cal Fire and firefighters across the state have already responded to 1,171 wildfires.

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 PreventWildfireCA.org.

For additional information on how to create Defensible Space, on how to be prepared for wildfires, as well as tips to prevent wildfires, visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.