Big Bear, Ca, August 31, 2011, 12:00pm – The San Bernardino National Forest has decided to increase fire restrictions due to the increased hot weather, and lower fuel moisture. The new restrictions will go into effect (tomorrow/ today). Forest officials are taking these steps to prevent human-caused fires and raise public awareness as the summer continues to get warmer and dryer. Forest visitors are reminded to exercise caution when visiting the National Forest and maintain a higher level of awareness with the increased fire risk. Travelers through the Forest should remain on designated roads and never park on dry brush or grass. Fire restrictions and guidelines effective September 1 on the San Bernardino National Forest 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, and are not permitted at Yellow Post campsites, Fisherman’s Camp or Pacific Crest Trail Camps. Campfire permits are required for propane and gas stoves and lanterns used outside of developed recreation sites. Recreational shooting is limited to Public Shooting Ranges operated under special use permit only. An approved spark arrester is required for any internal combustion engine, including 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. And as always, fireworks are prohibited on the San Bernardino National Forest. The Forest Service will be aggressively citing those that don’t abide by the new restrictions, and violators could be fined up to $10,000 or face jail time.