As of Friday, June 29, and as the seasonal fire danger rises, forest officials are increasing fire use restrictions in the San Bernardino National Forest.
This past winter the forest experienced less than average winter snow and rainfall, and the seasonal outlook expects a warmer and drier summer this year with below average summer “monsoonal” rains, which could create the potential for large fires.
Forest officials are taking these steps to prevent human-caused fires and raise public awareness. Most wildfires on the San Bernardino National Forest are human-caused and increased restrictions are designed to reduce wildland fires.
Forest visitors are reminded to exercise caution when visiting the national forest. Travelers through the forest should remain on designated roads and never park on dry brush or grass.
“With the dry weather, we ask the public’s help to prevent destructive wildfires” Fire Chief Shawna Legarza said. “We want visitors to enjoy their public lands, but use common sense in the process.”
Effective Friday, June 29, the San Bernardino National Forest officials are imposing the following fire restrictions and guidelines:
- Wood and charcoal fires are permitted only in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds and within agency provided fire rings or camp stoves.
- Wood and charcoal fires are not permitted at Yellow Post campsites, Fisherman’s Camp, or the following Pacific Crest Trail Camps: Bench Camp, Deer Springs, Doble, Holcomb Crossing, Little Bear Springs and Mission Springs.
- Campfire permits are required for propane and gas stoves and lanterns used outside of all developed recreation sites.
- Recreational shooting is limited to public shooting ranges operated under special use permit only, except those engaged in legal hunting.
- An approved spark arrester is required for any internal combustion engine operated on designated forest routes. These include chainsaws, generators, motorcycles, and off-highway vehicles.
- Smoking is limited to an enclosed vehicle or building, or within a developed recreation site.
- Fireworks are always prohibited on the San Bernardino National Forest.
The U.S. 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.
Forest visitors are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” and call ahead to the local ranger station to check on location conditions and restrictions at the following offices:
San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 602 S. Tippecanoe Ave., San Bernardino, (909) 382-2600.
Idyllwild Ranger Station, 54270 Pine Crest Ave., Idyllwild, (909) 382-2922.