Extreme fire danger means no campfires in the Sierra National Forest

-- Sierra National ForestJune 27, 2013 

The Sierra National Forest will increase the level of fire restrictions beginning July 1. A very dry winter led to high fire danger much earlier than in previous years. Continued high temperatures and low moisture have prompted fire officials to increase fire restrictions. Sierra fire officials will keep these restrictions in effect until further notice.

Beginning July 1, no campfires will be allowed anywhere on the forest. Stoves and lanterns with shut-off valves that use gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel will be allowed only in authorized campgrounds and identified areas if the operator possesses a valid California Campfire Permit. A list of these authorized locations is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/sierra. The list includes developed campgrounds, identified areas and Wilderness areas on the Sierra National Forest.

Campfire permits and a list of areas allowing stoves on the Sierra National Forest may also be obtained at Forest Service visitor information desks. When using a stove, remember to clear all flammable material five feet in all directions from the stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person attends the stove at all times when in use. Operating an internal combustion engine outside properly designated roads or trails, welding, and using explosives will all be strictly prohibited during these increased restrictions. If riding a motorized vehicle on trails, ensure your engine is tuned, operating properly, and has an approved spark arrester. Smoking will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles and within authorized recreation sites.

“Due to conditions on the forest and the anticipation of an active fire season, for instance the recent Carstens Fire which was started by an abandoned campfire, it will take all of us to be diligent to prevent wildfires,” said Joseph Reyes, Forest Fire Management Officer.

Anyone causing a wildfire could be liable for all costs associated with suppressing the fire. Visitors to Forest Service and adjacent BLM and Park Service lands need to carefully follow each agency’s current fire restrictions. If you spot a fire, call 911.

Details: Clovis (559) 297-0706, North Fork (559) 877-2218, or Prather (559) 855-5355.

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