Cal Fire urges caution during extreme fire danger

A Riverside City Fire Department water truck makes its way down a road towards the Heart Bar campground as a fire continues to burn in the San Bernardino National Forest, California, Thursday, June 25 2015. A huge forest fire that has been burning through rugged terrain in the San Bernardino Mountains for more than a week forced evacuations as it stretched northeast into the desert. (Stan Lim/The Press-Enterprise via AP) MAGS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT; LOS ANGELES TIMES OUT


SACRAMENTO (KRON) — High temperatures with monsoonal conditions building up this week are prompting state fire officials to urge residents to take precautions amid extreme fire danger.

Cal Fire says several new fires sparked by lighting strikes broke out over the weekend. But fire crews managed to launch an aggressive initial attack to keep the fires contained to a small area, according to fire officials on Monday.

Cal Fire says more than 3,000 firefighters remain on the frontlines of two large active wildfires currently burning in California. The Lake Fire in San Bernardino County was reported on June 17. It has consumed approximately 30,726 acres and is burning in timber, officials said. The flames are now 60% contained. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Washington Fire in Alpine County broke out on June 19. The fire is 3 miles south of the community of Markleeville and has burned 17,786 acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service. As of Monday morning, the fire was 45% contained. Investigators say it was sparked by lighting.

With tender, dry conditions throughout the state and soaring temperatures this week, Cal Fire says the burning of residential landscape debris piles was suspended statewide on Monday. Outdoor burning had already been banned throughout much of the state, but now the rest of Northern California, including the Coastal and Bay areas are under the no burning rule.

Embers from burn piles are one of the top causes of wildfire each year, so it’s critical that residents look into other options to remove yard waste, according to officials. They recommend mulching landscape debris piles or hauling it to a biomass facility.

This week also marks the beginning of safe and sane fireworks being sold in approximately 300 communities statewide. Officials urge when using safe and sane fireworks, people exercise extreme caution. They say only use those fireworks with the State Fire Marshal Seal of Approval. Cal Fire reminds residents that California has a zero tolerance for the use and sale of illegal fireworks.

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