CLOVIS – The Sierra National Forest Bass Lake and High Sierra Ranger Districts have lifted Forest Order #05-15-18-14 Fire Restrictions, effective Oct. 22.
Campfire permits are required on the Sierra National Forest for the use of campfires, charcoal fires or portable gas stoves outside of a designated recreation area even when there are no “fire restrictions” in place. These permits are free and are available at all Forest Service, BLM or Cal Fire offices or online at www.preventwildfireca.org.
When you obtain a Campfire Permit you agree to:
- Clear all flammable material away from the fire for a minimum of 10 feet in all directions to prevent escape of the fire.
- Have a shovel and at least five (5) gallons of water available at the campfire site for preparing, and extinguishing your campfire.
- Have a responsible person in attendance at all times when there is a campfire. Leave the permit with that person and make sure they are aware of terms of the permit.
The Sierra NF would like to remind visitors to continue to be responsible in their enjoyment and use of a campfire. Here are a few tips to follow, for you to recreate and enjoy your campfire on the Sierra National Forest responsibly:
- Prepare your site – Find a level spot away from overhanging branches, brush or dry grass. Keep away from the base of a hill, escaped campfires can travel up-hill very quickly.
- Beware of duff – Duff is the layer of decomposing material that lies on the forest floor between the pine needles and the bare dirt. Duff burns while bare dirt does not.
- Attend to your fire – Never leave a fire unattended, even for a few minutes or to take a nap. It only takes a moment for a fire to escape.
- Drown the fire – Drown your campfire ½ hour before you break camp. Use your shovel to separate the burning pieces of wood in the fire pit.
- Stir and Mix – Stir and mix water with ashes until the fire is completely out. Do not try to bury the fire it can smolder for hours and possibly escape.
- Drown Charcoal Briquettes – Charcoal briquettes should be extinguished by placing them in a bucket of water stirred thoroughly, then poured into the fire pit.
- Check the Ashes – Using the back of your hand, to see if there is still heat present. Additional water and stirring may be needed, make sure the fire is out before you leave the campsite. Walk around check the area 50 feet from the fire pit to make sure embers or sparks did not escape.
- It Can Cost You – You can/will be held liable for the cost of suppression and damages caused by any wildfire that starts through negligence.
- Come Prepared – Obtain your campfire permit, bring your shovel, a bucket for water, and check with Forest staff to see if there are fire restrictions in place.
The Ferguson Fire area closure is still in effect as is the Oak Fire area closure.
For further information regarding the Sierra National Forest and recreational activities please contact the High Sierra Ranger District office in Prather, Calif. at 559-855-5355; the Bass Lake Ranger District in North Fork, Calif. at 559-877-2218; or the Forest Supervisors Office in Clovis, Calif. at 559-297-0706, or go online to www.fs.usda.gov/sierra.