MARIPOSA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Cal Fire has announced the suspension of burn permits in Madera, Mariposa, and Merced counties, citing concerns about dry conditions.

Cal Fire says the increasing fire danger caused by dead grass and dry conditions prompted the permit suspension.

The suspension will go into effect May 23 and bans all residential outdoor burning of debris such as branches or leaves.

“Approximately 95% of all wildfires in California are caused by human activity, and we are entering the summer months under severe drought,” Mariposa-Merced Unit Chief van Loben Sels said. “The dry conditions throughout the state have created a situation where a fire could easily spark, so we ask everyone to be cautious outdoors and to maintain fire safety awareness.”

Cal Fire says it may issue restricted temporary burn permits if there is an essential reason.

Agriculture, land management, fire training, and other industrial-type burnings are allowed if Cal Fire officials give special permits.

The permit suspension does not apply to campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property. Campfires are permitted if maintained in a manner to prevent spread onto wild land.

A campfire permit is also required and can be found online here.