CAL FIRE Restricts Burning in Monterey, San Benito Counties

Monterey, CA – The San Benito-Monterey Unit of CAL FIRE will suspend open burning, starting December 31, 2013, for San Benito and Monterey Counties. This is due to the increased fire threat, evidenced by continuing fire activity. On average, San Benito and Monterey Counties experience less than 7 vegetation fires in November and December. 2013 has seen 14 vegetation fires so far in the CAL FIRE jurisdiction. Monterey County saw the Pfeiffer fire burn 917 acres in the jurisdiction of the Los Padres National Forest, demonstrating that the threat of fire continues. Further, the weather forecast is for unseasonably dry conditions to continue.

Experience has shown that open burning suspensions effectively aid in preventing fire escapes and significantly reduces the risk and occurrence of large fires. This is especially important as these counties are currently experiencing low cumulative rainfall, low humidity, dry fuel moisture levels and increased fire activity.

Agriculture, land management, fire training, and other industrial-type burning may proceed if a CAL FIRE official inspects the burn site and issues a special permit to specifically exempt a burn from this ban. Campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds, or in established facilities on private property with permission of the landowner and jurisdictional authority. Persons burning under any special permit must also check with their regional air quality management district for addition regulations and requirements.

CAL FIRE reminds everyone that it is their individual responsibility to use fire safely and to prevent fires. Visit for more information on how to prepare for and prevent wildfires.
Anyone with questions about this declaration is urged to contact the nearest CAL FIRE facility. Proper disposal of vegetative waste is an important part of fire prevention. It is critical that all homes have a minimum of 100 feet of Defensible Space around their homes and structures. For additional tips on being prepared for wildfires, please visit and practice “Ready, Set, Go”. For fact sheets, please visit Click this link for specific information on debris burning (en español).