Northeast California’s wildfire season officially opens Monday, June 7, officials at the Susanville Interagency Fire Center have announced. The “official” fire season announcement informs people that fire risks are increasing as the weather warms.
With the announcement the SIFC agencies (Lassen National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Lassen Volcanic National Park and the Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit of CAL FIRE) and the Modoc and Plumas National forests will staff fire stations, reaching full staffing by July 1.
“It is important to note that the start of fire season does not mean that fire restrictions are in effect,” said Jim Hedges a co-manager of the fire center. “It does mean that people need to be safe with fire, as always, and pay attention to conditions that will begin drying out as we move into the summer months.”
CAL FIRE has required permits for outdoor burning since May 1, and campfire permits are required for BLM and Forest Service-managed lands outside of developed campgrounds and recreation sites. CAL FIRE will suspend burning permits on July 1, and the federal agencies may announce seasonal campfire restrictions as fire dangers increase.
Property owners must always adhere to the hours and conditions on burning permits, using fire only on calm days. Adults must supervise all fires, and tools including water hoses and shovels must be on hand. Use of mowers and other brush and grass clearing equipment should be avoided during hot and windy periods because sparks caused by blades hitting rocks can cause fires.
Campers must pay attention to seasonal fire restrictions, keep campfires small, and be sure fires are cold to the touch before leaving camp.
This year, the fire center will be ready to respond to emergencies with a total of 34 fire engines, 18 ground crews, up to five bulldozers, an “air attack” plane and three helicopters from CAL FIRE, the Lassen National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Also available are fire engines, bulldozers and water tenders from cooperating local fire departments.
SIFC crews provide fire protection and suppression in Lassen and Modoc counties, and parts of Plumas, Shasta, Butte, Siskiyou and Tehama counties, and parts of far northwest Nevada.