By GENEVIEVE BOOKWALTER
Anyone who wants to burn without a permit needs to get it done before 8 a.m. tomorrow.
After that, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and Stanislaus National Forest officials will require anyone lighting burn piles to have a piece of paper saying they can do so.
Burn permits are required by the two agencies after May 1 every year. Hour restrictions will not take effect until May 19, after which all burning must be done between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. Those rules will remain until fire season is over.
Free burn permits, valid through Dec. 31, are available at all CDF offices and Forest Service ranger stations.
Burn permit holders must comply with the following guidelines:
? Keep piles smaller than four feet in diameter.
? Clear a 10-foot-wide dirt border around the pile.
? Cover burn barrels with a heavy mesh screen. Screen holes must not be bigger than 1/4 inch.
? Watch the burn pile at all times. Keep a shovel and water nearby.
? Never burn on windy days.
? Burn only on allowed burn days.
To find out if burning is permitted, call 533-5598 in Tuolumne County, 754-6600 in Calaveras County or 785-7664 in the Copperopolis area.
Contact the Air Pollution Control District at 533-5693 in Tuolumne County or 754-6504 in Calaveras County for more information.
Contact Genevieve Bookwalter at gbookwalter@ uniondemocrat.com.