Open burning is being banned on 31 million acres of land throughout California because of the threat wildfires due to the lengthening drought.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has already responded to more than 2,100 fires in 2014 --  nearly 70 percent more than average for this time of year.

Director Ken Pimlott announced Wednesday that his 21 unit chiefs and six contract county fire chiefs have been ordered to issue local burning suspensions by July 1 across 31 million acres of the state's land. 

The state firefighting agency has already responded to more than 2,100 fires this year, a 70 percent increase over the average number for the same time period.

Rather than a blanket ban, information officer Lynne Tolmachoff says each of the state's unit chiefs will issue local burn bans.

The bans in state responsibility areas totaling more than 48,000 square miles include suspension of all residential burn permits and burning for forest management, hazard abatement and industrial purposes. 

Campfires may be exempted from the ban in designated areas.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report. 









The local proclamations will stop debris burning, forest and vegetation management burns and other industrial-type burning.  Campfires, however, may still be allowed in designated campsites.