Sequoia National Forest Officials Issue Fire Restrictions
July 27th, 2017 by Eric Mart
Hume Lake, Kern River and Western Divide Ranger Districts now under fire restrictions.
PORTERVILLE, Calif., July 27, 2017 – Campfire and smoking restrictions will be implemented on the Sequoia National Forest, Giant Sequoia National Monument beginning Friday, July 28, 2017 until further notice. These restrictions are deemed necessary to protect public safety and prevent human-caused wildfires. According to Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliott, campfires below 4,000 feet will not be allowed within the Sequoia National Forest or Giant Sequoia National Monument. “The Sequoia National Forest is experiencing unprecedented tree mortality, with approximately 600,000 acres affected. These conditions, coupled with twice the normal spring precipitation resulted in a heavy grass fuel load.”
Criteria, officials consider before implementing fire restrictions include current and predicted weather, fuels conditions, fire activity levels and available resources. Under Forest Orders 0513-17-25 and 0513-17-14 the following is prohibited below 4,000 feet in the Sequoia Nation Forest except in areas listed as exempt:
• No Campfires or charcoal fires are allowed, except, in designated campgrounds and areas posted as “Exempt Areas” in the Forest Order exhibits and with a valid California Campfire Permit. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sequoia/notices/?cid=FSEPRD539396 for a list of exempt areas. Free Campfire Permits are available at Forest Service offices and www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit.
• No Smoking is permitted, except within enclosed vehicles or buildings, developed recreation sites and other designated areas as listed in the Forest Order exhibits.
• Operating an internal combustion engine off of properly designated roads or trails and welding are all strictly prohibited during the increased fire restriction period.
Fireworks, exploding targets, tracer rounds and other incendiary ammunition or devices are not allowed on the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument at any time. This includes sparklers and so-called safe and sane fireworks.
Visitors, with a valid California Campfire Permit, may use portable stoves and lanterns with shut-off valves, using pressurized gas, liquid fuel, or propane in the general forest areas. 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.
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.
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 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 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 for local conditions, regulations and bans. For more information contact your local ranger station or visit the Sequoia National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia or call 559-784-1500.