All Outdoor Burning Suspended as Limited Firefighting Resources and Critical Fire Weather Continue in Northern California

Press release from Cal Fire:

cal fireOver 8,300 firefighters remain on the line battling the 3rd largest fire and 7th most destructive in State history, the 259,000 acres Thomas Fire. As of today, 6 major fires since Monday, December 4th have burned nearly 284,000 acres and destroyed nearly 1,300 structures.

Conditions across the state are tinder dry due to above average temperatures and low humidity. Red flag warnings are in effect for Mendocino County and the Bay Area. Winds are forecasted to increase throughout Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Considering these critical fire weather conditions coupled with a limited number of available firefighting resources, the CAL FIRE Humboldt – Del Norte Unit has requested the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD) temporarily suspend all outdoor burning. NCUAQMD has granted that request and burning is currently suspended.

CAL FIRE is asking residents to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires by maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of Defensible Space around every home.

Here are some tips to help prepare homes and property:
Clear all dead and or dying vegetation 100 feet from around all structures.
Landscape with fire resistant/drought tolerant plants.
Find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris like chipping or hauling it to a biomass energy facility.

For additional information on how to create Defensible Space, as well as tips to prevent wildfires, visit



  • How come CAL-FIRE hasn’t sent out a press release for the judgement against them that said the fire tax they imposed on all the homeowners in the s.r.a. was illegal. They screwed us out of millions of dollars, then when law suit was filed to get our $$$ back the California judge said tough luck. They think we are going to forget all the past money we paid if they are going to be nice guys and not charge us a phony fee anymore.

    • Hi, Festes! When that tax first appeared in my mail box, I called to protest. The office personnel told me to mark my cheques “Paid Under Protest” with each payment, which I have done. I called on this issue again last fall, and received the same instructions.
      I don’t know this for certain, but I THINK those payments will be refunded whenever the State gets a round Tuit. At least that is my hope. On the other hand, hell may freeze over first.
      State Senator McGuire’s staff seems to be tracking on this issue, so check in with them to hedge your bet.

      • Anon, check out the Howard Jarvis tax payer league website, They are the ones who brought suit and are now trying to get OUR money back.

        • I never paid any of those fake taxes. I protested by NOT paying at all! Does that mean I was right? Or do I need to pay to then get officially refunded?! Very confused by CA government these days…

      • I don’t understand why you’d begrudge a fee for living in a remote area, for protection from wildfires. I never minded paying the hundred bucks or whatever. Services cost money. They could/ would save your life if they could. Haven’t you ever been close to a wildfire? Reminds of tightwads who won’t pay for neighborhood road work…

        • I don’t mind paying especially when the lightening fire almost burned my house down. They were there ready to defend my home. I was pretty happy to see them driving up and down the road.

    • Can you please send me a link to any evidence? I have also been blown away.

  • Am curious why this cant be sent out as emergency alert under the countys office of emergency services? This is a potential life&death situation and not everyone’s online or listening to radio.

    A text/email/robocall alert seems appropriate and a good test of the system if nothing else.

    One big thing coming out of fires is the lack of alerts to residents, granted that fire moved fast, but it seems like a good lesson for all of us.

  • What about a horn like they used to have in Arcata as an alert. Even if you have texting,
    the power is the first to go out before a large fire.

  • I always thought it was discrimination against rural homeowners. I live just outside Fortuna city limits and have had to pay. Cal Fire responds to all kinds of fires throughout the state to people who never had to pay the fee. Also, hwy accidents get Cal Fire response. Why didn’t the whole state have to pay??? Just like the ‘fuel’ tax. Diesel was supposed to go up $.20 a gal. It was $3.19 everywhere in Humboldt on Nov. 30, and on Dec 1 it was $3.69. That’s a $.50 a gal increase. I called local politician offices, and they said “I didn’t know that. We will look into it” Ya right !!! Typical political rip off.

  • Wish in one 🤚 hand.

  • It is an illegal tax. Most people who live in the boonies have to pay this tax and never see Cal Fire all year. Take for instance someone living up in Somes Bar. The Forest Service are the ones who respond to fires up there, even if it is on private land. After the fire is suppressed Cal Fire won’t even send anyone out to determine the cause. So what are we paying for?

    • Not that I’m a huge fan of the fee but, it was never for fighting fires. It is for prevention and education.

      “This fee funds a variety of important fire prevention services in the SRA. Such activities include fuel reduction activities that lessen risk of wildfire to communities and evacuation routes. Other activities include defensible space inspections, fire prevention engineering, emergency evacuation planning, fire prevention education, fire hazard severity mapping, implementation of the State and local Fire Plans and fire-related law enforcement activities such as arson investigation.”

      • As you said you are not a big fan. Neither am I. Most of what you mentioned, applies to all property owners.I would be more receptive to the idea of the tax if it was for every property owner. To focus only on rural areas was totally unfair. My property, and properties around me, are all close enough together with no more fire danger than many homes in Fortuna. Just because you are in the ‘city limits’ doesn’t mean a fire will stop at that city/county line. The fee should have been for everyone, or no one. ps…Thank you for running a well informed and current news site!!!

        • Come on.. look at it like this: if you live in a rural area, you cost more to protect from fire. It’s not rocket science. I’m no fan of gov agencies but this is one I like. They PROTECT U FROM FIRE for chrissake.

          • In this fee, “rural” is determined by a LINE. A city to county line can determine the fee. Like I said, I live 200 feet outside the city limits from my neighbor who is in city limits. He doesn’t have to pay, but I do. We are neighbors!!! I am rural, but his property is not being 200 feet away???? How am I costing more money than he is??? How the hell is that a fair way to charge a fee????

            • Well of course it’s determined By a ‘line’ . What would you expect?! Yes sometimes it not good to be outside a given ‘line’ for any number of reasons. Sometimes it’s good. Stop whining.

              • It sounds like you probably don’t pay this fee, but would also benefit from Cal Fire if something happened with your home, or neighbors. Their response is not restricted to rural incidents. How does that make you any different? As I said, it should be for everyone or no one. Bottom line is it is suspended because they determined something is wrong and illegal with it, so obviously people who have had to pay it have had every right to whine!

                • I pay several of these fines for several different parcels including my moms. She complains about it too. I guess it just comes down to different personalities. Some people don’t want to pay for anything.

          • Never seen them once here. Always local volunteers only.

            Beside the argument there should be a special fee in addition to taxes can be applied to everything from road work to the welfare with as much justification.


          I read this topic and went off to do some stuff but came back it it’s like click bait for comments I understand too frustrating the fire fee; had two seperate residences Carlotta sold the place and was billed after selling for the remaining period I was an owner now the place I live had voter attached Fortuna Fire to the property tax system. So my fire fee doubled!! Anyway, had to share my frustration the fire fee program is in suspension not to be re-evaluated until 2030 something I called the program last week I had a delinquent payment from the last bill I owed $131.50 from my last final notice in Sep the gal on the phone said they were closing out the system and all I owed was $117.50 and apparently I could have owed it for the next 10 years!!

        • To Livin Easy’s comment:
          Ha! Maybe even no more fire danger (because they were close together(?) than the housing and commercial areas in Santa Rosa that were totally incinerated? In case you just pulled your head out of your….. sandbox, NO place is safe anymore…you probably have not heard of climate change either.

      • I imagine all the folks in Ventura & Santa Barbara, in Santa Rosa & Rohnert Park thought they were on the safe side of the line. Firefighters went anyway.

    • The Forest Service and Cal Fire have an agreement where the USFS covers some private lands for Calfire, and Cal Fire covers some Fed lands for the USFS, as near Weichpec. The acres balance out at the bigger level.

    • Essentially the USFS is putting out the fire on state land while the state picks up the bill for the fire. So essentially you are paying for fire service through the Forest Service but the state pays the bill. Mutual aid agreements, hard to explain to people because they don’t see the red fire engine but the reason the green engine is putting out the fire on your land is because of a deal brokered by the state and the feds. So you are getting a service, its just not visible.

  • How many of the folks whining about a $12.50/month fee to help protect their homes are getting the TPZ tax rate even though they have no intention of ever harvesting timber to pay the yield tax? Because I can pretty much guarantee my property tax bill is subsidizing a lot of rural homeowners.

      • SRA fees provide some money for fuel reduction work along roadways, and most of that work is done in the summer, by inmate crews…but when Cal Fire needs those crews on a fire, not much work gets done. Many rural folks have been visited by friendly Cal Fire folks who try to get landowners to be fire-safe, but run into locked gates.

        I dispatch for a fire company that DIDN’T qualify for the $35 SRA credit for our property owners in our area of responsibility. I, too, protested on the memo line of my SRA check for my 2 properties that have residences…why didn’t people who live in our area get that rebate? We provide just the same services as our neighboring fire districts who get fire tax money, and we pay large amounts for Workers’ Comp, required if we are to work with Cal Fire. We’re now being forced into becoming a fire tax district by the State of California, as they won’t allow land owners to subdivide their property UNLESS that land lies within a fire tax district. Rural lands aren’t the same as urban areas…and when it comes to a vote, I’m hoping that our landowners turn down the state’s plan to force everyone into being fire-taxed…and I doubt that N. Cal will get the same return as S. Cal, as they will certainly get more of that SRA money. The huge fires in Santa Rosa and those in Ventura, etc., were horrific, but there were many homes that were deemed ‘fire-safe’ that burned anyway…many trees were left green and unburned! We need to have more prescribed fire…like the first peoples here used to do. We need to lower the fuel load, so that fires don’t get too big! Pull up all those tiny firs! Thin your trees on your land…small trees suck up lots more water than older trees…and it seems we’re heading into another drought, if we don’t get more rain. Let me be wrong.

    • CY, there’s not a harvestable tree on my property, so why am I included in your reasoning??? If that’s the case, fee should be charged by each property’s evaluation; not bundled into one group.

  • I suppose all the brush I can’t now burn will just lay around for the next wildfire??

  • We were just up on Grizzley.. BONE dry…. ripe for a hot burn,,,, Brittle dry… Be careful people it aint over yet…. Pray for rain.

  • wow, growling about a $100 per year tax to help educate folks in rural area that are at the most risk for wildfires due to fuel load and remote access? Sorry for the short sightedness of this community. Folks in towns pay extra taxes within city limits to support their fire and police (and guess what sometimes those town/city fire departments assist in rural areas) I gladly give the money to calfire to spend however they want, with the changing climate, groundwater levels being pumped dry and surface water diversions impacting the health of the forests these catastropic fires are the new normal, and I’m really thankful calfire is trying to proactively work with landowners to reduce risk.

    • I already pay $100 per year to support the local volunteers. Who BTW are the ones who really actualy show up if there is a problem. I never once have seen CalFire here. In town at the fast food or grocery stores but never out here. Then too I get to pay sales taxes in the town to help them pay for their own fire companies. Income taxes, property taxes, fees, permits. There is no end to it.

      All for CalFire never showing up except once a year on the far side of the gate to leave their bloody little useless check list of irrelevant issues and driving off before I can get the hundred feet down there to ask them the one question I do have. I have a suspicion that a good part of the money they collect is squandered on hiring people just to drive around handing out the check lists.

      This is not southern California. It’s not even southern Humboldt. I live in a wet place of redwood trees and salal on a place that, if I could follow the CalFire guidelines, would be one big puddle of gravel. I just wish they would stop the PG&E tree trimming companies from throwing the cut limbs into my woods where it is a real fire hazard.

      Stop repeating the new Brown liberal machine self serving headlines about new normal as if it wasn’t the same old normal except for all the new, exploded population down south now there to start more fires and be in the way of fires.

  • I also live in redwood forest with salal that burned 80 years ago. Redwood forests are drier now, with less groundwater, due to overpumping groundwater, water diversions, and drier weather. That’s a fact, not something made up by some liberal machine that manufactured a fake drought, which we may well be heading back into.

    • Drought has always been part of California history. No one said anything about it being fake. That argument is disingenuous. Historically California has had centuries long drought. As far as I ever hear, over pumping ground water is a result of being able to do so when a hundred years ago it was not technologically possible. And that is a political choice for action where it’s done, not here.

      I would prefer to restrict the access of local waters being diverted down south just because it might slow up their insatiable use and keep them more realistic. Now if Brown said that instead of his two faced trying to take more water while using the drought as a tool in his personal quixotic legacy legislation, it might not be so very, very offputting. At least our locally oblivious politicians could have negotiated an exchange where diverting our water is compenated. Nope. Instead he slaps a fee on us.

      Pumping and diverting are political agendas, not a tool to be ignored for some things and used to whip up support for others, as the political machine requires. And how dare you claim everyone not of your mind is short sighted.

  • We already pay the highest taxes in the entire country. Every year they try to get more from us and every year we seem to get less for thr money. Take the new gas tax that just went into effect to help repair roads Etc ,there’s also some new DMV registration taxes that will start going into effect soon and they’re already talking about taxing drivers by the mile. If you keep giving the state money they’re going to keep spending it and I think we can all agree that they are not very good at spending our money.

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