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Cal Fire gives tips to avoid fire danger during prolonged dry spell

MARIPOSA– The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit reminded all residents that because of December’s prolonged dry spell, fire danger remains above average across the Central Sierra and the chance of large and damaging fires still exists. Even though the area has experienced cooler temperatures and a little moisture, recent dry winds have brought back the danger of wildland fire.Even though fire season has ended, California lends itself to severe wildfire conditions year round with its unique climate and topography. Listed below are some safety tips:o Check to make sure it is a permissive burn day prior to starting a burn projecto Just because it is a permissive burn day doesn’t mean it is safe to burn, take into consideration current conditions, such as high gusty and or windy days, surrounding dry vegetationo ALWAYS stay in attendance of the burn projecto Have suppression tools, such as shovel and water, available in case of an escapeo Create a bare mineral soil zone (down to dirt) around your projecto Don’t burn piles that are too big for your control- piles should be no more than 4 foot by 4 foot in diametero Don’t dump ashes from fire places or wood stoves onto vegetation, there could still be hot spots in the ashes which would ignite dry vegetationAlthough burning is an effective tool in the reduction of wildland fire fuels, if a homeowner does have a fire escape their control they can be fined, issued a citation (misdemeanor), and have to pay suppression cost to put the fire out. For more information on fire safety visit Cal Fire at: www.fire.ca.gov or www.ReadyForWildfire.org

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