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SNF Outlines Fire Restrictions for July 4th Holiday

MOUNTAIN AREA — Sierra National Forest officials are reminding visitors to the National Forest that campfire restrictions are in effect and will continue through the July 4th weekend — “and beyond.”

“Outside of open developed recreation sites and certain permitted facilities, igniting, building, maintaining or using a fire on the SNF and national forests in California will be prohibited,” stated a new release issued Wednesday by SNF.

Forest Service officials say they are taking this step early in the season to ensure that firefighters are available to safely and quickly respond to incidents.

“With the above-normal fire season projected in much of California, and the combined potential for wildfires and smoke to impact communities and firefighters, we need to reduce or eliminate this large ignition source and protect our firefighting resources,” the release stated.

“Ninety-five percent of wildfires in California are human-caused. Many of these wildfires occur close to roadways, communities and recreational areas, posing a considerable threat to public safety,” said Dean A. Gould, forest supervisor. “These restrictions and the public’s efforts to prevent human-caused fires is always important, but this year especially presents additional challenges for fire response. Please help us keep our firefighters, forest and local communities safe by reducing as many fire responses as possible.”

Over the 4th of July weekend, forest visitors are still able to use pressurized liquid or gas devices (stoves, grills, lanterns or rings) that produce a flame with shut-off valves — but only in an area at least three feet from any flammable materials and only with a valid campfire permit.

To obtain your campfire permit on-line follow this link www.preventwildfireca.org

The use of fireworks is strictly prohibited on the Sierra National Forest. Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited on national forest lands year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Forest Service Fire Prevention and Law Enforcement patrols will check campsites and strictly enforce the prohibition on fireworks. Violators may be cited and fireworks confiscated.

Violators can/will be held liable for the cost of suppression and damages caused by any wildfire that starts through campfire/fireworks negligence.

“The SNF also boasts a few popular lakes in the area where visitors enjoy watersports and swimming,” the release also stated. “As inviting as the water seems on a hot day it can be very dangerous. Be cautious anytime you or your family are near lakes, rivers and streams. Here are a few tips to follow, for you to recreate in or around water on the SNF safely and responsibly;

Inquire about swimming regulations. At some recreation sites swimming is not recommended or may even be prohibited. Follow “No Swimming” signs. Where allowed, choose swimming areas carefully. Often hazards are not visible in what may seem like a good place to swim or wade.

Wear a properly fitting personal floatation device (life jacket) for all water activities, especially boating.

When boating be sure to follow the established rules of the waterways. Do not mix alcohol and boating together.

Keep a close watch on children even if they are far from the water. Water safety for children is especially important as they can quickly enter the water when your attention is diverted for only a moment.

For more tips on swimming safely in rivers, lakes and streams open the following https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/know-before-you-go/water-safety”

For further information regarding the Sierra National Forest and recreational activities please contact the High Sierra Ranger District office in Prather at 559-855-5355 ext.0, 3300 or 3301; the Bass Lake Ranger District in North Fork at 559-877-2218 ext. 0; or the Forest Supervisors Office in Clovis at 559-297-0706, or go online to www.fs.usda.gov/sierra

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