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Sierra National Forest Enacts Temporary Fire Restrictions

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – The Sierra National Forest (SNF) will enact temporary fire restrictions, effective August 11, 2023, prohibiting campfires, welding, or smoking on all public lands managed by the Forest in non-developed campsites, with the exception of those shown in Exhibits A & B of the current Forest Order. Campfires will only be allowed in wilderness, developed campgrounds, or picnic areas managed by the Forest Service or concessionaire Vista Recreation.

Forest Order 05-15-00-23-20_SNF_Fire Restrictions

The forest is continuing to experience tree mortality.

“With the heavy winter precipitation, we have been able to defer fire restrictions to much later than normal; typically, by or around the 4rth of July, we have met the conditions on the Forest that warrant implementing this measure to reduce the odds of a wildfire. Additionally, a heavy and volatile fuel load remains across much of the forest floor,” said Forest Supervisor Dean Gould

Per the SNF Fire Restriction and Emergency Closure Plan, current conditions meet the criteria for issuing temporary fire restrictions for the SNF and the Forest. The surrounding Federal land managers of the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Inyo, and Sequoia National Forests have previously gone into various stages of fire restrictions based on similar conditions. Line Officers, as well as Forest Fire Management and Prevention Staff, have assessed Recreation Sites and Wilderness Areas on the Forest. Areas that have had flammable materials removed to mitigate fire ignitions from escaping into the wildland are listed in Exhibits A and B below.

Effective August 10, 2023, through November 15, 2023, the following temporary fire restrictions are in effect:

  • No Campfires will be permitted in non-developed campsites (Dispersed Locations), and for wilderness locations, see Exhibit A of the order.
  • Wood and charcoal fires (including wood-burning stoves) are prohibited, with the exception of those listed in Exhibits A & B.
  • Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit are not exempt from the prohibitions. However, portable stoves with a shut-off valve that uses pressurized gas, liquid fuel, or propane are allowed with a valid California campfire permit. This includes the popular propane campfire ring.
  • Campfires would be allowed only in developed recreation sites identified in Exhibit B of the forest order.
  • Stoves are allowed in all other designated picnic areas.
  • No Smoking is permitted except within an enclosed vehicle, a building in which smoking is allowed, a campground or picnic area where wood and charcoal fires are allowed, or a designated smoking area.
  • Free campfire permits are available at www.readyforwildfire.org/prevent-wildfire/campfire-safety/.
  • No welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.

Fireworks, exploding targets, tracer rounds, and other incendiary ammunition or devices (This includes sparklers or safe and sane fireworks) are not allowed in the SNF at any time.

Human-caused fires can be prevented. One less spark can mean one less wildfire. Do your part to prevent wildfires. To learn more, visit One Less Spark Campaign – Ready for Wildfire.

Resorts, pack stations, recreation residences, and other sites operated under special use permits from the U.S. Forest Service may be exempt from the special orders as long as any fire activity is conducted in compliance with their permit and only at the site of their permit.

Residents and visitors are reminded that simple steps can help prevent human-caused fires:

  • Prevent vehicle-related fires by maintaining proper tire pressure, ensuring adequate tire tread, and checking your brakes for overheating. Avoid traveling or parking on brush or grass. Ensure chains are not dragging while towing.
  • Use of exploding targets, such as Binary Explosive Targets, incendiary, steel jacketed, or armor piercing ammunition, and tracer rounds, while recreationally shooting is both a fire hazard and illegal. The use of steel-core ammunition, although legal, can greatly increase the chance of a wildfire.
  • Hunters actively engaged in the legal pursuit and take of game and non-game species must have a valid California hunting license and abide by California laws and regulations.
  • Motorcycles, ATV’s and chainsaws require an approved spark arrestor.

Anyone found guilty of violating a fire prevention order may be fined not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Restitution for total fire suppression and damage costs incurred may be borne by the trespasser.

Know Before You Go! For additional information regarding fire restrictions, please contact your local Ranger Station Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm or email SM.FS.Sierranfinfo@usda.gov for current information.
• High Sierra Ranger District 559-855-5355
• Bass Lake Ranger District 559-877-2218
• Supervisor’s Office 559-297-0706

Stay informed as we prepare to resume in-person services by following our webpage at www.fs.usda.gov/sierra, Facebook @SierraNF, or Twitter @Sierra_NF.

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