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Sierra National Forest Enters Fire Restrictions

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST–Sierra National Forest (SNF) officials are announcing that temporary fire restrictions have gone into effect on June 30, 2024. Due to drying vegetation and rising daytime temperatures, conditions now necessitate the implementation of fire restrictions.

Fire restrictions prohibit campfires in non-developed areas, welding, operating an internal combustion engine except on a National Forest System road or trail, and smoking. Visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/sierra for more information.

Fire restrictions are determined using several criteria, including two key metrics: the Energy Release Component (ERC) and the Burning Index (BI). The ERC measures the potential energy available to a fire, indicating the heat released if a fire burns the available fuel. It accounts for the moisture content of live and dead vegetation, providing a comprehensive measure of landscape dryness and flammability. The BI estimates the difficulty of controlling a fire, combining potential energy release and fire spread rate into a single value.

When thresholds for these metrics, along with factors like vegetation moisture content, weather forecasts, human risk factors, and firefighting resource availability, are met, fire restrictions are implemented.

The temporary fire restrictions, effective June 30, 2024, prohibit 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 (shown below) 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.

Image of Dean Gould.We have met the conditions that warrant implementing this measure to reduce the risks of additional wildfires. Additionally, a heavy and volatile fuel load remains across much of the forest floor. –Forest Supervisor Dean Gould


Effective June 30, 2024, through November 15, 2024, 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 Exhibit A.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • No welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  • Operating an internal combustion engine, except on a National Forest System road or trail

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