With fire season approaching, authorities on Monday suspended permits for outdoor residential burning in areas of Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Imperial counties where the state provides fire services.
Residents are not allowed to burn dead vegetation or set other open fires in areas where the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has jurisdiction.
Campfires are also restricted to facilities and pits in established campgrounds open to the public. Cooking fires are allowed with a valid permit when no other means of cooking are available. A permit and on-site inspection are required for warming fires.
The suspension does not cover campfires on private property, officials said.
"Although winter and spring rains were plentiful, fire danger always lurks as the grasses that these rains produced have begun to dry out, creating a fire hazard," Cal Fire Riverside County Chief Shawn Newman said.
Experts have said recent rainfall will probably delay the start of the state's grass fire season, which typically begins in May or early June, by at least a few weeks.
Cal Fire has already responded to more than 800 wildfires this year, officials said.
"The dry, hot weather that fueled massive fires last year will return again this year, so it is up to the public to be ready," Cal Fire director Thom Porter said.