Following a bone-dry October and parched start to November, the ban on residential debris burning in Trinity and surrounding counties is still in effect.
The near future is also looking dry.
“There is really nothing on the horizon here anywhere on the forecast,” said Chris Burling, meteorologist for the National Weather Service based in Eureka, which covers Trinity County.
“We’re just kind of in a pattern not really seeing anything to get our hopes up anytime soon,” Burling said late last week.
For the rainfall year so far, from July 1 through Monday, Weaverville had received less than an inch and a half of rain whereas average would have been about 5 inches. For all of October, the town got a scant 0.07 of an inch during a month when precipitation normally is over 2 inches. For November so far there has been no rain.
“We’ve got a really persistent ridge of high pressure just sitting over the eastern Pacific and the West Coast,” Burling said.
The fortunate thing is that so far the lack of precipitation isn’t coupled with high winds in the forecast.
Burling said, “Obviously we’d like to see some rainfall to really put that fire danger to bed for good for the season but at the same time even though we’re not seeing rain we’re not seeing anything on the horizon that looks like it’s going to be critical fire danger, either.”
Meanwhile, the two Cal Fire units that cover Trinity County, Shasta and Humboldt-Del Norte, have reminded residents that outdoor residential burning is still prohibited. The suspension has been effective since July 15 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves. There is not an estimated date for lifting the burn suspension.
Cal Fire said although overnight temperatures are cooler, the vegetation is still extremely dry and receptive to burning.
“The public cannot let down their guard or become complacent in doing their part to prevent wildfires,” Cal Fire said.
Cal Fire may issue restricted temporary burning permits if there is an essential reason due to public health and safety. 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.
The suspension of burn permits for residential landscape debris does not apply to campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property. Campfires may be permitted if the campfire is maintained in such a manner as to prevent its spread to the wildland. A campfire permit can be obtained at local fire stations or online at PreventWildfireCA.org.
For additional information on how to create defensible space, on how to be prepared for wildfires, as well as tips to prevent wildfires, visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org, or pick up a copy of the Journal’s Wildfire Preparedness Guide which comes out every April. Limited copies of this year’s special section are still available.