Let the night skies be your show this Fourth of July
July 1st, 2015 by Eric Mart
Fireworks are prohibited in the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument
Porterville, California, July 01, 2015 – With the Fourth of July holiday coming up this weekend, Sequoia National Forest officials are reminding visitors that all fireworks are banned on national forest lands. This prohibition includes “safe and sane” fireworks sold in various areas throughout the state.
Forest Service policy prohibits possessing, discharging fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices within the national forest. The penalty for possessing fireworks can be as high as $10,000, imprisonment for up to six months, or both.
“This policy was developed to help ensure the safety of our forest visitors and reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires. We encourage people to visit, enjoy, and connect with this spectacular land in our backyard in the safest manner possible,” said Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliott.
The last four years have been the driest in this century; consequently the Sequoia National Forest is at elevated fire danger status. In April, a survey conducted by the U.S. Forest Service and found that 2 million trees have died due to drought conditions and the invasion of bark beetles.
“Mix a tinder-dry environment, escalating summer temperatures, and low relative humidity together and you have a recipe for disaster,” stated Brent Skaggs, Forest Fire Management Officer. “Do your part, one less spark.”
The Fourth of July weekend is always busy on the Forest, if you have not reserved a campsite, you will be able to find somewhere to camp. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia to help plan your trip.
Here are some important things to be aware of this summer:
- Some campsites will not have drinking water this summer due to drought conditions. Rivers, including those in the backcountry, have less water than normal. Please come prepared with drinking water for the duration of your trip.
- NO campfires, warming fires, stove fires are allowed outside of designated developed recreation sites and specifically posted campsites or areas. Lists of designated campgrounds and recreation sites are available at local Ranger Stations and Visitor Centers and on the Sequoia National Forest website, www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia.
- Smoking is banned except in an enclosed vehicle, building or a developed recreation site.
- Visitors are allowed to have a portable gas stove or lantern (with a flame on/off switch) outside developed or designated areas with a valid California campfire permit. A campfire permit can be obtained, free of charge, at any Forest Service, CALFIRE, or Bureau of Land Management office and at www.preventwildfireca.org/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.
- Water Safety – Rivers, streams and lakes could have powerful currents that can easily sweep you off your feet. Treat all water locations with respect and use the buddy system.
- Off-highway vehicle use is restricted to designated roads within the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Mountain-bike use is restricted to designated trails and roads. Trails, where mountain-bike use is prohibited, are signed. All motorized and mechanized use, such as mountain-bikes, are prohibited within Wilderness areas.
Our national forests and grasslands are precious resources we all use and enjoy. This Fourth of July holiday, let the night skies be your show.