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The annual burn hazard season starts on Thursday, May 1, to address concerns over both fire hazard and air quality, fire and air quality control officials reported this week.
The burn restrictions apply to all areas in Lake County. All issued burn permits expire on that date.
An annual burn ban was first implemented in 1986 in response to weather conditions that often create extreme fire danger and poor air quality. For many years a managed approach which incorporates fire and air agency concerns has been implemented and improved upon.
The ban as implemented allows a quick fire agency response to all fires observed from May 1 on, as they are all assumed to be uncontrolled fires unless specifically authorized by an exemption for time and place.
This successful program is one of the primary reasons Lake County has superior and healthful air quality, officials reported.
The ban also helps prevent smoke impacts to the general public and large planned outdoor events by unrestricted vegetative waste burns. The burn ban includes ALL open waste burning, though exceptions are possible for agricultural operations, essential control burns, and public safety burns.
To obtain an agricultural exemption, first contact your responsible fire protection agency so that your burn site can be inspected and evaluated for fire safety.
Only after the fire agency has inspected the burn site and notified the Air Quality Management District that the proposed burn is fire safe, should you contact the Air Quality Management District to establish economic necessity and obtain a written exemption permit.
Anyone responsible for open burning without a valid written exemption from the burn ban may be subject to a citation, fines, and the cost of the fire agency response to extinguish the fire.
Burn restrictions will remain in effect until the Lake County fire chiefs advise the Board of Supervisors to end the ban, or Cal Fire declares an end to the fire season.
Please help reduce the danger and losses caused by uncontrolled fires, and protect the county's designation as the only air basin in the state to meet all ambient air quality standards by burning in compliance with regulations.
Public cooperation is greatly appreciated and will result in a safer and more healthful environment for all of us.
Location: Countywide. Contact: Contact your local fire agency.