As more than 8,000 firefighters continue to battle six large wildfires in Northern California, state fire officials urge people who plan to celebrate the Labor Day weekend in outdoor recreation areas to use extra caution.
More than 500,000 acres have burned in California so far this year, and much of the state remains at high risk for wildfires, according to a state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection news release. Officials stress that the potential for additional large, destructive fires increases as fall approaches.
Because of current or recent fires, many areas are closed to visitors or campers. People planning to visit one of the national forests in California are advised to call the Forest Service office to obtain current information regarding closures and restrictions.
A statewide burn ban is in effect for all state responsibility areas. All residential "dooryard" burning, as well as forest management, hazard abatement and other industrial-type burning, is prohibited until further notice. Campfires are allowed only in designated campgrounds.
Cal Fire urges people to follow several safety tips to prevent wildfires:
Obtain necessary permits for campfires and adhere to any restrictions.
Clear grass, leaves and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any campfire.
Have a responsible person in attendance at all times while a campfire is in use.
Make sure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving the site.
When barbecuing, never leave the grill unattended.
For other Labor Day weekend safety tips, see the Cal Fire website at www.fire.ca.gov.
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