San Bernardino National Forest, CA, June 27, 2013 – From a fire danger perspective, Big Bear has gotten a one-two punch this year: a winter of lower-than-average snowfall followed by a hot summer with below average rainfall. Accordingly, the U.S. Forest Service is increasing fire use restrictions on the San Bernardino National Forest as of tomorrow.
Most forest wildfires are human-caused, so the safety of our community depends on the vigilance of residents and visitors alike. With stakes as high as they are, forest officials will be aggressively citing those who do not comply with the posted restrictions. Violation of these prohibitions constitutes a Class B misdemeanor under federal law and is subject to punishment by a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment up to six months, or both. Persons may also be responsible for resource damage, suppression costs and any injuries that occur if they are found liable for causing a wildfire.
Effective June 28, 2013, fire restrictions and guidelines are as follows:
- 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, 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 engaged in legal hunting.
- An approved spark arrester is required for any internal combustion engine — chainsaws, generators, motorcycles, and off-highway vehicles — operated on designated forest routes.
- Smoking is limited to an enclosed vehicle or building, or within a Developed Recreation Site.
- Fireworks are always prohibited on the San Bernardino National Forest.
- Vehicles should always remain on designated roads and never park on dry brush or grass.
- Use extreme caution around open flames or heat-producing sources.
- Motorists must use car ashtrays instead of tossing cigarettes out the window. Also be aware that hot brake shoes, hot exhaust systems, 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.
More information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf or at the Big Bear Discovery Center at (909) 382-2790.