SANTA CRUZ COUNTY -- A ban on residential backyard burning in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties will be lifted at 8 a.m. Thursday, according to Cal Fire.
The ban, which took effect on May 16, prohibited residential burning of dry natural vegetation within the boundaries of Cal Fire's CZU unit, which covers the two counties.
Residents who wish to burn after the ban is lifted are required to obtain burn permits through their local air resources district and verify that it is a permissive burn day before burning.
Burns will be prohibited when weather and fuel moisture conditions are unfavorable.
Burned vegetation must originate from the property where the burn takes place. According to Cal Fire's website, all outdoor burning must be conducted in a way that prevents the smoke from creating a smoke nuisance, and vegetation should be dry and loosely packed.
Fires are to be no more than 4 feet in diameter with all flammable material cleared 10 feet from the edge of the burn pile.
No fires are to be left unattended and a water supply is required to be close to the burn site.
Cal Fire also recommends on its burn permit website that burns take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when smoke dispersion is best, but residents should check local requirements for permitted burning hours.
Burning is not the safest or cleanest means for disposing of vegetative waste.
Cal Fire's recommended alternatives to burning include composting, mulching and natural decomposition. Many municipal landfills and GreenWaste centers also accept yard trimmings.
Residents may contact their local solid waste departments to learn how to recycle their yard trimmings.
For more information on burn permits and to verify if it is a permissive burn day, people can visit https://www.mbard.org/open-burning for Santa Cruz County and https://www.baaqmd.gov/permits/open- burn for San Mateo County.
for more features.