Tag: San Bernardino National Forest

Single-Digit Humidity + Gusty Winds = Fire Watch

San Bernardino Mountains, January 23, 2014 – There is a Fire Weather Watch in effect late tonight through Friday night, due to increasingly dry conditions and strong winds. A Fire Weather Watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur (which would be accompanied by a Red Flag Warning). During the last Fire Weather Warning earlier this month (January 12-14), the San Bernardino County Fire Department expanded its initial attack resources and added additional firefighters to its deployment plan. Those traveling up or down the mountain between Thursday and Friday night should be aware that the wind gusts will be especially strong through passes and canyons leading down to the inland valley–up to 45 miles an hour at times. All residents and visitors should keep in mind that with the lack of rainfall and snow pack making vegetation a tinderbox, it’s more dangerous than ever to leave campfires unattended, discharge a firearm or throw cigarette butts onto the ground. The San Bernardino National Forest could once again have daytime humidities in the single digits with poor nighttime recovery. Humidity will remain extremely low over local mountains and valleys through Saturday. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which is suspending burning permits at 6:00 a.m. January 24, said in a press release, “With no significant rainfall in the near future, the risk of wildfires over the...

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The Trouble With Conifers

Big Bear City, CA, January 16, 2014 – For all the work trees do to clean our air, pollinating trees are the bane of allergy sufferers. This week, the unseasonably warm weather and windy conditions are making the situation worse. Several websites that rate pollen levels on a scale from 1 to 12 show Big Bear averaging 9.1 over the next few days, with two of the biggest culprits being cedar and juniper. Friday will score the highest on the allergy index at 9.9. Pollen counts tend to be highest early in the morning on warm, breezy days and lowest during chilly, wet periods. Normally, Big Bear would see about 4.33” of rain during January, along with 14.2” of snow. But the area has seen zero precipitation so far, and none is expected by the end of the month. The National Institute of Health says approximately 35 million Americans complain of respiratory symptoms from pollen allergies. People with the most severe symptoms may want to avoid travel during sunny, windy weather, and wear face masks when working...

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Local Forests Under Fire Weather Watch

San Bernardino National Forest, January 13, 2014 – The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch throughout the Inland Empire due to extremely low humidity. A Fire Weather Watch indicates critically dry conditions that dangerously increase the risk of wildfire. Humidity could dip into single digits with little recovery overnight, especially in wind-prone areas through and below passes and canyons, which could see gusts up to 40 miles per hour. Wildfires burned over 4 million acres across the country in 2013; the continued lack of precipitation in our local mountains should be a red flag to residents and visitors alike. Remember: Never toss burning cigarettes out into dry brush areas. Completely extinguish any campfires and douse them with water so they cannot relight. Be cautious with mowing or weed-wacking equipment on dry brush – one spark can ignite a blaze.  ...

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Forest Visitors to be Surveyed on Activities and Satisfaction

Big Bear Valley, CA, October 4, 2013 – Federal furloughs notwithstanding, the San Bernardino National Forest will be participating in a one-year visitor survey called the National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM). This survey process, done in partnership with the University of California at San Marcos, will be conducted  through September 30, 2014. The interviewers will be stationed in orange vests at key forest roads or exits from recreation areas, and tally the number of people per vehicle and ask visitors a few basic questions, including: – What activities did you participate in? – How long did you stay? – How satisfied are you with the facilities? – Where are you from? The information will be analyzed at a national tabulation center, summarized and published along with other national forests. This year-long study, which is performed every four to five years, is used by Congress, agency planners and those who study national visitor and recreation trends. It may also be used as part of the basis for allocating funding to recreation programs. The last sampling showed that the San Bernardino National Forest was visited approximately 2.4 million times for recreation in 2009, with over 76% of those visits made for physical activity. It was also found that more than half of the visitors live within 50 miles of the forest, and that 29% of visitors stayed overnight in a US Forest Service...

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This Saturday, Forget the Forest Fees

San Bernardino National Forest, September 27, 2013 – The San Bernardino National Forest is offering a fee-free day this Saturday in conjunction with the 20th annual National Public Lands Day. On September 28, no Adventure Pass will be required for use of Standard Amenity Fee sites. National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands, with more than 170,000 volunteers expected to participate around the country this year. Last year on this day, volunteers collected an estimated 500 tons of trash and 23,000 pounds of invasive plants, planted 100,000 trees and other plants and built or maintained 1,500 miles of trails. San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron said, “National Public Lands Day is a good day to enjoy the great outdoors, both by visiting the national forest and taking part in one of the many volunteer opportunities around the forest.” Here are a couple of local Forest Service activities: Big Bear, Greenthumbs Ecological Restoration Project. Work will consist of seed collection, native shrub and tree planting and the scattering of woody debris to disguise unauthorized routes. Volunteers will meet at the Big Bear Discovery Center at 9:00 a.m. on September 28 and caravan to Holcomb Valley for ecological restoration activities until 3pm. Lunch will be provided through a sponsorship with REI. All supplies and gloves will be provided.  Volunteers are requested to wear long pants and tennis shoes or boots.  Sunscreen and...

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