By Bea Karnes and Patch staff
Cal Fire has just issued a separate burn ban for Napa, Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma counties, according to ABC7 News. The TV station reported the additional bans in the northern Bay Area counties in its 6 p.m. newscast tonight.
That ruling is on top of the regional burn ban issued by Cal Fire for other parts of the Bay Area.
A burn ban has already been in effect since Dec. 30 for Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, portions of Stanislaus, and Western San Joaquin Counties.
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.
Cal Fire Division Chief Rich Sampson today reminded people that the burn ban "suspends all open burning within the State Responsibility Area and Local Responsibility Areas under contract to Cal Fire."
Those areas now include Napa, Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma 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.