Big Bear, CA, September 1, 2016 – The San Bernardino National Forest will increase the current seasonal fire restrictions effective Friday, September 2, 2016.
Continued hot and dry conditions, coupled with a long-term outlook that predicts no change in weather trends and normal fall winds, have prompted local fire mangers to implement additional fire restrictions on the National Forest. Designed to prevent accidental wildfires, these restrictions will affect additional recreation sites and become more restrictive in areas already in restrictions.
“The Blue Cut and Pilot Fires are good examples of how fast new fires are likely to spread this year,” said Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron. “It is prudent to do everything we can to prevent unwanted wildfires that have the same potential for rapid growth. The safety of the public and our neighboring communities is our primary concern and this is one measure we can take that will address that concern.”
The fire restrictions that are effective on all San Bernardino National Forest lands are as follows:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire. (No wood or charcoal fires)
- Individuals with a valid California Campfire Permit may use either a propane, gas cooking stove or lantern.
- Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, developed recreation sites, or while in a cleared area at least three feet in diameter.
- Recreational shooting, including within the public shooting ranges that are operated under special use permit issued by the Forest Service is also prohibited. Persons engaged in lawful hunting are exempt from this prohibition.
- Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame is prohibited.
- An approved spark arrester is required for all off-highway vehicles.
Fire Management Officer Jaime Gamboa said that everyone can play a role in keeping our community safe. “The community and all forest users can help in the prevention of fires by being careful when using your public lands and by remaining vigilant in reporting illegal and inappropriate behaviors within the forest and our community.”
The US Forest Service will be aggressively citing those who do not comply with the posted restrictions. Violation of these prohibitions is subject to punishment by 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. Persons may also be responsible for resource damage, suppression costs and any injuries that occur if they are found liable for causing a wildfire.