The San Bernardino National Forest will increase the current seasonal fire restrictions effective this Friday, Sept. 2.
“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,” the Forest Service wrote in a press release. “Designed to prevent accidental wildfires, these restrictions will affect additional recreation sites and become more restrictive in areas already in restrictions.”
“It is prudent to do everything we can to prevent unwanted wildfires that have the … potential for rapid growth,” said Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron in the release. “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.”
Fire restrictions effective on all SBNF lands are:
- 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 or gas cooking stove, or lantern.
- Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building or developed recreation sites, or while in a cleared area at least 3 feet in diameter.
- Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame is prohibited.
- An approved spark arrester is required for all off-highway vehicles.
Recreational shooting, including within the public shooting ranges operated under special use permit issued by the Forest Service, also is prohibited. Persons engaged in lawful hunting are exempt from this prohibition.
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, according to the release.
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 909-382-2600 or San Jacinto Ranger Station 909-382-2922.