Forest Service Raises Fire Restrictions

Forest Service flogoJune 28 the fire use restrictions in the San Bernardino National Forest will rise and residents and visitors need to be aware of the changes.

Each year the forest service makes changes, according to weather, time of year and potential issues to the forest and its visitors.

This past winter less than average winter snow and rainfall occurred as a result of the second year of drought. unfortunately the seasonal outlook again expects a warmer and drier summer this year with below average summer “monsoonal” rains. This could create the potential for larger fires.

Forest officials are taking these steps to prevent human-caused fires and to raise public awareness. Most fires in the San Bernardino National Forest are caused by humans and the increased restrictions are designed to reduce wildland fire. Forest visitors are reminded to exercise caution when visiting the National Forest and they need to maintain a higher level of awareness with the increased fire risk.

Travelers and visitors can do the following to help prevent wildland fires:

* Be informed and abide by all fire restrictions

* Vehicles should always remain on designated roads and never park on dry brush or grass.

* Use extreme caution around open flame or heat-producing sources.

* Motorists should use their car ashtray instead of tossing cigarettes out the window. Also, be aware that hot brake shoes, hot exhaust system, overheating of vehicles and dragging tow chains can cause fires. Keep tow chains high and off the ground.

* Report all suspicious activities to law enforcement.

* Fire restrictions and guidelines effective Friday, June 28 on the San Bernardino National Forest include:

* Wood and charcoal fires are permitted only in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds and within agency provided fire rings or camp stoves.* Wood and charcoal fires are not permitted at Yellow Post campsites, Fisherman’s Camp, Cedar Springs or the following Pacific Crest Trail Camps: Bench Camp, Deer Springs, Doble, Holcomb Crossing, Little Bear Springs and Mission Springs.

* Campfire permits are required for propane and gas stoves and lanterns used outside of all developed recreation sites.

* Recreational shooting is limited to Public Shooting ranges operated under special use permit only, except those engage din legal hunting.

* An approved spark arrester is required for any internal combustion engine operated on designated forest routes. These include chainsaws, generators, motorcycles and off-highway vehicles.

* Smoking is limited to an enclosed vehicle or building or within a Developed Recreation site.

* Fireworks are ALWAYS prohibited

in the San Bernardino National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service will be aggressively citing those who do not comply with the posted restrictions. Violation of these prohibitions is subject to punishment of a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both, as Class B misdemeanors under federal law.

People may also be responsible for resource damage, suppression costs and any injuries that occur if they are found liable for causing a wildfire.

Forest visitors are encouraged to “know Before You Go” and call ahead to the local Ranger station to check on location conditions and restrictions at the following offices:

* San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor’s office, 602 S. Tippecanoe Avenue, San Bernardino. (909)382-2790;

* Big Bear Discovery Center, 41397 North Shore Drive/ Hwy. 18, Fawnskin, (909) 382-2790;

* Idyllwild Ranger station, 54270 Pine Crest, Idyllwild. (909) 382-2922.

* Lytle Creek Ranger Station, 1209 Lytle Creek Road, Lytle Creek. (909) 382-2851.

Mill Creek Visitor Center, 34701 Mill Creek Road, Mentone. (909) 382-2881.

* Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, 51-500  Hwy. 74, Palm Desert. (760) 862-9984.









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