SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST — With the recent change in weather conditions the Sierra National Forest is ending the 2017 Fire Season and lifting campfire restrictions.
Visitors are now permitted to have campfires using wood and charcoal in the Sierra National Forest.
As fall and winter arrive most campgrounds are closed for the season. However, campfires will be permitted outside of designated campgrounds as long as visitors are in possession of a valid California campfire permit. These permits are free and available at all Forest Service, BLM, or Cal Fire offices, or online at www.preventwildfireca.org.
Forest visitors will also continue to have the ability to have campfires in the higher elevations of all wilderness areas below 10,000 feet. The Forest reminds visitors to always keep campfires small, and away from dry grass and fuels.
Here are a few pointers to remember when enjoying a campfire:
- Prepare your site – Find a level spot away from overhanging branches, brush or dry grass.
- 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.
- If you find an unattended fire take action and extinguish the fire before it escapes.
- Drown the fire – Drown your campfire with at least five gallons of water 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. Don’t try to bury the fire it can smolder for hours and possibly escape.
With the end to the fire season, residential debris pile burning in the area may resume. However, homeowners should always check with their local Cal Fire station to obtain a burn permit, and check with their local air quality management agency before burning.
For more information on debris burning safety, Cal Fire offers this educational fact sheet, and for burn day information you can contact the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District at www.valleyair.org.
Know Before You Go: Become familiar with the area that you are visiting. Call the local Forest Service office near the area you will be visiting to check conditions, restrictions and closures.