With the arrival of winter and several rainstorms in the past two weeks, the Riverside County Fire Department lifted its burn suspension. The suspension was effective at 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 5. 

According to its press release, “ …. CAL FIRE Riverside Unit Chief John R. Hawkins is formally cancelling the burn permit suspension and advises that those possessing current and valid agriculture and residential burn permits can now resume burning on permissible burn days.”

In addition, Hawkins reopened seven hazardous fire areas:

• Avery Canyon (Gibbel Road east of State Street in Hemet) 

• North Mountain and Indian Canyon (San Jacinto area) 

• Whitewater Canyon (Cabazon, north of Palm Springs) 

• Nuevo/Lakeview (east of Menifee Road and San Jacinto Avenue) 

• Minto (Sage) 

• Reinhardt Canyon (north of Highway 74 and California Avenue in Hemet) 

• Ramona Bowl and Bautista Canyon (southeast Hemet) 

Cal Fire burn permits are required for tumbleweed and commercial agricultural burning (along with an Air Quality Management District permit).

Landowners can contribute to reducing fire hazards when they burn residential piles safely, according to the press release, and is a crucial tool to decrease forest residue. 

State, federal and local land management and fire agencies also will be using this window of opportunity to do prescribed burns aimed at improving forest health on private and public lands. 

“Southern California is no stranger to increased fire danger risks from damaging Santa Ana winds,” said Hawkins. “Residents must remain fire-ready even during winter months and take advantage of cooler days to harden your home against wildfire. Please visit the www.readyforwildfire.org website for step-by-step instructions to keep your family and home safe.” 

Day and overnight campers should check with their area state and county parks to verify if permit requirements are in place or have been lifted to have a campfire.