Recreational target shooting restrictions went into effect last Saturday throughout the San Bernardino National Forest.
Fire managers expressed several reasons for concerns about fire activity and the need for shooting restrictions. Fire activity has increased across the forest because of the recent a heat wave. This hot weather has accelerated the drying trends in vegetation causing rapid down-turns in live fuel moistures. Also, the above-average grass crops posed threats.
Consequently, fire managers have decided to implement restrictions on recreational target shooting within the SBNF.
“Our number one priority is always the safety of our firefighters and the public we serve which is why we have decided that restrictions for recreational shooting is necessary at this time,” said Dan O’Connor, SBNF fuels and fire prevention officer.
Persons exempt from this restriction include any federal, state or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
Also, individuals with a Forest Service permit that specifically authorizes the prohibited act or omission and individuals engaged in lawful hunting are exempt from this prohibition.
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 also may be responsible for resource damage, suppression costs and any injuries that occur if found liable for causing a wildfire.
Fire Management Officer Jaime Gamboa said everyone can play a role in keeping our community safe. “The community and all forest users can help in the prevention of fires by being careful when using your public lands and by remaining vigilant in reporting illegal and inappropriate behaviors within the forest and our community.”
Forest visitors are encouraged to call ahead to the local ranger station to check on location conditions and restrictions: San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 602 S. Tippecanoe Ave., San Bernardino, 909-382-2600 or San Jacinto Ranger Station, 54270 Pine Crest Ave., Idyllwild, 909-382-2922.