For Immediate Release
Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention announces open burning suspension for unincorporated Sonoma County
SANTA ROSA, CA | June 14, 2022
Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention Division announced today a ban on the burning of residential landscape debris in unincorporated Sonoma County. The ban aligns with a burn suspension announced by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), which began on June 13 for all outdoor burning in state responsibility areas of Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Yolo and Colusa counties.
The increased fire danger posed by dead grass and hotter, drier conditions in the region prompted Cal Fire to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves.
California has had a historically dry start to 2022 and is bracing for what could be another devastating wildfire season. While wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, the fire season in California and across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year. Climate change is considered a key driver of this trend. Warmer spring and summer temperatures, reduced snowpack, and earlier spring snowmelt create longer and more intense dry seasons that increase moisture stress on vegetation and make forests more susceptible to severe wildfire.
Consistent with Sonoma County Code Section 13-72.1, the Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention Division has placed the same open burning suspension in effect as of today within unincorporated Sonoma County, including the local responsibility areas, and will coordinate with Cal Fire on lifting the burn suspension once conditions are safe.
The burn suspension includes all open burning, though agricultural, forest management, fire training, and other industrial type burning may proceed if a Cal Fire official - or a local fire chief in the local responsibility area - has inspected the area and issued a permit.
The burn suspension helps by allowing for faster fire agency response to all fires observed after the suspension is in effect, as they are assumed to be uncontrolled fires.