Existing Public Trails, Bicycle Paths, and Parks Remain Open for Normal Use
Folsom, Calif.- Designated city-owned open spaces that have high fire potential are now off-limits in Folsom. Today, the City of Folsom issued an emergency order in response to extreme fire danger and extraordinary drought conditions.
All existing public trails, bicycle paths, and parks remain open for normal use. Maps of temporarily closed city-owned open spaces are available on the city’s website. Closed areas have been clearly marked with signage.
The Folsom City Council declared a local emergency on July 27 in response to an increased fire risk and designated all City-owned open space areas as “Hazardous Fire Areas” under the Folsom Fire Code. The declaration gives the Folsom Fire Chief – in consultation with the City Manager – authority to temporarily close city-owned open spaces to protect the public’s health, life, and safety by preventing wildfires.
Fire Risk: Extreme
In a report to the City Council, Folsom Fire Chief Ken Cusano stated that the fire risks this summer are extreme. In the last year alone, the Folsom Fire Department responded to 47 fires in the city’s open spaces. All of those fires were caused by people.
“We are experiencing an extremely dry summer season, and we have recently seen many fires in our city’s open spaces. People are the common denominator,” said Folsom Fire Chief Ken Cusano. “Closing these areas is an urgent step to protect our community from dangerous wildfires, as well as avoid steep financial costs associated with major fire suppression efforts.”
Any individuals occupying or accessing these designated areas will be directed to vacate immediately. Failure to comply with the emergency order is a misdemeanor offense under Section 2.28.070 of the Folsom Municipal Code.
Highly flammable and combustible materials in closed Hazardous Fire Areas must be removed immediately, including butane canisters, propane, lighter fluid, lighters, matches, charcoal, candles, paper boxes, and containers.
The City of Folsom will follow its standard noticing protocol to assist individuals experiencing homelessness in the closed Hazardous Fire Areas to safeguard their personal belongings. Items they no longer need or want can be discarded in city-supplied garbage containers.
~ 1,000 acres of open space
The city owns approximately 1,000 acres of open spaces. A combination of factors makes these areas susceptible to severe fire, including hot weather, little rain, reduced snowpack, and intense dry seasons resulting in dry vegetation. Common causes of fires in these dry environments include discarded cigarettes, unattended campfires, trash burning, and any use of open flame.
To report concerns of potential violations of the emergency order, call the Folsom Police Department at 916-461-6400. For more information, visit www.folsom.ca.us/OpenSpaceClosures or contact the Folsom Fire Department at 916-461-6300 or [email protected] Call 9-1-1 to report a fire or other emergencies.