As June ends and fire season begins, the San Bernardino National Forest implemented seasonal fire restrictions effective Thursday, June 30.
“Monthly and seasonal weather outlooks predict above-normal, large-fire potential from July to September 2016. With these predictions, we want our visitors to be able to continue to enjoy their public lands, but our main priority is their safety, making fire restrictions a critical role in providing that safety when the fire danger levels are high,” said Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron.
Live fuel moistures are about six weeks ahead of schedule, which represents drying patterns usually not occurring until late July into August. Winter rains were inadequate to overcome four years of drought, and June weather has already brought record heat.
Noiron has imposed the following fire restrictions and guidelines:
• In the San Jacinto Ranger District, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire is prohibited except within these seven campgrounds (Black Mountain Group, Boulder Basin, Dark Canyon, Fern Basin, Marion Mountain, Pinyon Flat and Ribbonwood Equestrian) and three picnic areas (Fuller Mill Creek, Lake Fulmor and Lake Hemet). Individuals with a valid California Camp fire Permit may use a propane or gas cooking stove;
• Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or in the campgrounds or picnic areas listed above;
• Fireworks are always prohibited in the San Bernardino National Forest;
• 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;
• Recreational shooting is limited to public shooting ranges operated under special use permit only, except for those persons engaged in legal hunting.
The U.S. Forest Service will aggressively cite 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