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Office of Emergency Services

Posted on: June 23, 2023

South Yuba River Corridor Burn Ban in Effect

South Yuba River Burn Ban

The South Yuba River Corridor Burn Ban takes effect for the 2023 fire season beginning at 8:00am on Monday, June 26, 2023. Annually, the ban begins when CAL FIRE declares fire restrictions and prohibits burning on private property within the lower 39-mile stretch of the South Yuba River from Lang’s Crossing to the confluence with Kentucky Creek below Bridgeport in Nevada County. 

The purpose of the burn ban is to mitigate severe high-fire risk from human-caused fires. The river corridor contains thick dry brush and flammable vegetation along steep slopes as well as limited and restricted access. The topography and the potential for high wind make it very difficult to fight fires in this area.

The ban continues through summer and fall until CAL FIRE lifts the burn suspension, generally after the first rains or fire is no longer deemed a significant threat due to seasonal changes. The CAL FIRE Nevada Yuba Placer Unit, beginning at 8:00 am on Monday, June 26, 2023, suspends all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris therefore triggering the South Yuba River Corridor Burn Ban. 

South Yuba River Public Safety Cohort

The South Yuba River Burn Ban, now a permanent Nevada County ordinance, was born out of the South Yuba River Public Safety Cohort, a multi-agency working group comprised of federal, state, local, and community stakeholders that coordinate public safety and law enforcement efforts in the South Yuba River corridor. The cohort’s aims have been to ensure the popular South Yuba River remains a safe place of recreation as visitation increases.

Recreation in the South Yuba River Corridor 

Due to the remote nature of the South Yuba River, cell service is limited to non-existent. The South Yuba River Public Safety Cohort has placed emergency call boxes at three of the river crossings: Edwards, Purdon, and the HWY 49 Bridge. These call boxes are an important safety resource in case of injury or fire ignition and serve as a critical lifeline for the visiting public. Additionally, the cohort has helped bolster the South Yuba River Citizens League’s (SYRCL) River Ambassador volunteers who greet visitors with friendly reminders about pack-it-in pack-it-out stewardship principles as well as help with first responder coordination in the event of emergencies.  

Know Before You Go – Visiting the South Yuba River

  • Campfires and BBQs are illegal in the South Yuba River corridor during fire season.
  • Cell service is limited to non-existent. Emergency call boxes are located at Edwards, Purdon, and HWY 49.
  • Parking is limited. Parking in designated parking areas ensures emergency vehicles will have access in the event of a fire or emergency. Heed parking signs when visiting the river. 
  • The winter of 2023 has led to historic levels of snowmelt runoff. Exercise caution when visiting as flows are cold and swift. 

For greater detail, read the full South Yuba River Burn Prohibition ordinance.

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