As Thursday, June 19, U. S. Forest Service officials are increasing fire use restrictions on the San Bernardino National Forest.

The summer weather is beginning to raise the seasonal fire danger. On the day, tighter restrictions are being imposed, a small, 3-acre, fire ignited near the Cranston Ranger Station in Valle Vista.

As California’s three-year drought continues, the forest has experienced below average winter snow and rainfall. During the spring, several Santa Ana wind events along with warm, dry weather, leading to drier fuel conditions occurred in Southern California.

The seasonal weather outlook predicts temperatures above normal and low humidity, which could create the potential for large fires.

With the current and forecasted conditions, forest officials are taking 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 wildfires.

Forest visitors are reminded to exercise caution when visiting the National Forest 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.

Effective today, the SBNF officials have imposed 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.

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 SBNF.

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.

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

Idyllwild Ranger Station
54270 Pine Crest, Idyllwild

Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center
51-500 Highway 74 Palm Desert