smokeybear1944posterDue to the hot, dry weather and high fire activity in southern California, the San Bernardino National Forest will have increased fire restrictions, effective September 1 (tomorrow). Per Forest Supervisor Jeanne Wade Evans, “We’re asking for the public’s help in protecting the forest from the threat of wildland fires during these harsh weather conditions. Our ultimate goal is to keep the forest open and enjoyable for visitors, and these precautionary measures can help reduce the threat of a large fire impacting the forest.” Visitors to the forest are asked to exercise caution, 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 and, effective Tuesday, no wood or charcoal fires are allowed anywhere on the San Bernardino National Forest. Other restrictions in place include the following: campfire permits are required for propane and gas stoves used outside of developed recreation sites; recreational shooting is limited to public shooting ranges; smoking is limited to enclosed vehicles, buildings and developed recreation sites; fireworks are always prohibited on the forest, as are armor piercing, steel core and Teflon ammunitions; and an approved spark arrestor is required for any internal combustion engine, including chainsaws, generators, motorcycles and off-highway vehicles. The Forest Service will be aggressively citing those who do not comply with posted restrictions; violations are subject to fines up to $10,000 and imprisonment. It should also be noted that individuals responsible for wildfires may be responsible for resource damage, injury, and fire suppression costs. In order to “know before you go,” forest visitors can visit the Big Bear Discovery Center or call 866-3437 for updated information; online info is available on the SBNF website.