With the onset of cool, wet weather, Riverside County Fire Chief Shawn Newman Friday is lifting a ban on open burning for agricultural operations and to clear excess foliage on residential properties, with some limitations.

Beginning Friday morning, open burning privileges are being restored in unincorporated county areas, though permits will still be required, according to the fire department.

“Cooler temperatures, higher humidity and the chance of winter weather have helped to begin to diminish the threat of wildfire,” according to an agency statement. “Property owners and residents are asked to use caution while conducting debris or agricultural burns, follow all guidelines provided, and maintain control of the fire at all times.”

Outdoor burning was restricted in the spring due to concerns about dry conditions raising wildfire risks.

Fire department officials said that pile burning can be conducted now, but permits will need to be obtained from local fire stations ahead of time. Permit-holders will be limited on when they can light fires to clear brush, being careful not to burn on windy days.

No trash can be set alight, and no painted wood or similar products can be torched.

Officials also noted that burn piles must be no larger than two feet wide and three feet high, set inside a 10-foot diameter space that is clear of any vegetation.

An adult must be present during all burns, and the responsible party must have a shovel and water source handy in the event the fire spreads beyond designated space.

“Safe residential pile burning of forest residue by landowners is a crucial tool in reducing fire hazards,” the fire department said. “State, federal and local land management and fire agencies will also be utilizing this same window of opportunity to conduct prescribed burns aimed at improving forest health … on private and public lands.”

More information is available at www.fire.ca.gov.

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