State fire officials have issued a ban on all open burning in parts of the East Bay and South Bay due to dry conditions and increased fire danger.
The burn ban which took effect Monday and will last indefinitely covers Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, as well as portions of Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The counties covered by the ban are experiencing record-breaking low rainfall, low humidity, dry fuel moisture levels and increased fire activity, according to Cal Fire Division Chief Rich Sampson.
Santa Cruz County alone has experienced 31 vegetation fires in November and December, compared to five or seven in a normal season, Sampson said.
Special permits will be required for agriculture, land management, fire training and other industrial-type burning, and camp fires are allowed in designated campgrounds or in designated facilities on private property.