Sequoia forest imposes campfire restrictions

Sequoia  forest  imposes  campfire restrictionsSequoia National Forest is enacting campfire restrictions to protect the health and safety of employees and communities, effective immediately, and until further notice. Outside of developed campgrounds and certain permitted facilities, igniting, building, maintaining, or using a campfire on national forests in California are prohibited.

Forest Service officials are taking this necessary step to ensure that firefighters are available to safely respond and manage incidents. Ninety-five percent of all wildfires in California are human-caused.

With the above-normal fire season projected in much of California and the combined potential for wildfires and smoke to impact communities and firefighters, we need to reduce or eliminate this ignition source and protect our firefighting resources.

“Our priority is to protect the health and well-being of our first responders and the public. This means we are taking additional precautions now to prevent wildfire ignitions in the forest,” said Forest Supervisor Teresa Benson. “Reducing the number of human-caused wildfires will enable us to successfully suppress the fires that do occur while protecting the safety of our employees and mountain communities.”

The following restrictions remain in effect until Nov. 30 or until rescinded:

• No campfires, briquette barbecues, or stove fires, in or outside of developed campgrounds below 5,000 feet in elevation.

• Visitors with a valid California Campfire Permit may use pressurized liquid or gas devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) with shut-off valves, in an area at least three feet from flammable materials. Free California Campfire Permits are available at www.readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit/.

• No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle.

• No tools powered by internal combustion engines off designated roads or trails (such as chainsaws or lawn mowers).

• No welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.

• No fireworks, including “safe and sane” fireworks.

For more information on wildfire prevention visit www.readyforwildfire.org or call your local anger station at 760-549-9533.

Pictured: While some restrictions for travelers remain in place — relating to fire prevention as well as social-distancing for COVID-19 — many wilderness areas are once again open to day hikers. — Photo by Rebecca Neipp

Story First Published: 2020-06-05