Porterville, Calif., July 15, 2016 – Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument officials have elevated the level of fire restrictions starting July 14, 2016. According to Brent Skaggs, Sequoia National Forest Fire Management Officer, NO campfires or charcoal fires, are allowed within the Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument.
Consistently higher temperatures and decreased humidity levels will result in drier vegetation that is more prone to the spread of wildfire,” Fire Management Officer Skaggs explained. “Be a responsible recreationist. It only takes one spark on dry grass, leaves, branches or needles to start a wildfire.”
While drought-stressed trees create dry fuels for wildfire, they also present a danger of falling unexpectedly. When choosing your campsite remember to look up, down and around. Choose a location away from hazard trees. For more tree mortality and safety information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/CATreeMortality.
Forest officials have increased the fire restrictions to prevent human-caused fires and raise public awareness as the summer continues to get warmer and dryer. As of July 14, 2016, and until further notice, the following fire restrictions are in effect:
- Campfires or charcoal fires are NOT allowed within the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument. The Forest Order banning campfire and charcoal fires is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/2016 Fire Restrictions.
- Stoves and lanterns with shut-off valves that use pressurized gas, liquid fuel, or propane will be allowed if the operator possesses a valid California Campfire Permit. Forest visitors must clear all flammable material five feet in all directions from their camp stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person attends the stove at all times when in use.
- Smoking will be confined to enclosed vehicles or buildings, and other designated areas as listed in the ranger district exhibits. The ranger district exhibits are available at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/2016 Fire Restrictions.
- Operating an internal combustion engine and welding off of properly designated roads and trails are all strictly prohibited during the increased fire restriction period. This includes chainsaws with an internal combustion engine and generators.
Chainsaws, dragging trailer chains, carelessly tossed cigarettes, abandoned campfires, unshielded OHV mufflers and discharging a firearm all can create sparks and cause wildfires. No matter how a fire starts, anyone found responsible may have to pay thousands of dollars in fines and restoration costs.
Violation of these fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of no more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization or incarceration for not more than six months, or both.
Reminder! California Campfire Permits are required for any source of flame or fire and are available for free at all Forest Service offices or online at http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit.
Campfires must be attended by a responsible person at all times and completely extinguished after use.
Human-caused fires can be prevented. One less spark can mean one less wildfire. Do your part to prevent wildfires. To learn more visit http://www.preventwildfireca.org/one-less- spark-one- less-wildfire.
Forest visitors are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” and call ahead to the local ranger station to check on local conditions. For more information contact your local ranger station or visit the Sequoia National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia.