By Bea Karnes
Several small brush fires have cropped up around the Bay Area over the past week—two in San Mateo County and one in Marin County. The latest burned two and a half acres just south of Half Moon Bay Saturday afternoon.
The fires, along with Friday’s declaration by Gov. Jerry Brown of a drought emergency for the state, prompted an urgent reminder by CAL FIRE that a Burn Ban is in place.
Division Chief Rich Sampson issued a release Friday saying, “On December 30, 2013, CAL FIRE suspended all open burning within the State Responsibility Area and Local Responsibility Areas under contract to CAL FIRE in the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, portions of Stanislaus, and Western San Joaquin Counties.”
There are two exceptions to the burn ban:
- Agricultural, forest management, fire training, vegetation management, and other industrial-type burning may proceed after a CAL FIRE official has inspected the burn site and issued a special permit.
- Campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property are allowed with landowner permission if the campfire is maintained in such a manner as to prevent the campfire from spreading to the wildland vegetation.
The governor’s drought proclamation gave CAL FIRE the authority to increase its staff to summertime levels. That’s expected to take place over the next few weeks.