Fire restrictions on the San Bernardino National Forest will be relaxed on Saturday, Jan. 8. Multiple winter storms in December brought significant rain and snow to the area, decreasing the fire danger to "moderate" forestwide.

 "After a very long fire season, I am breathing a sigh of relief for our staff who tirelessly worked to serve the public throughout the peak fire season," said Forest Supervisor Danelle Harrison. "However, it remains important for the public to continue to be safe and responsible with any activities involving fire during the winter and spring as vegetation can still ignite."

The new fire restrictions, set through a forest order, will allow visitors to have campfires in Forest Service-provided fire rings at open developed recreation sites and target shoot in designated areas. The prohibitions will be: 

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire in any other location than open developed recreation sites.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Operating an internal combustion engine off paved, gravel or dirt National Forest System roads and trails, except boats on a water surface.
  • Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.

Visitors should take note that the Bee Canyon recreational shooting sites will be closed Saturday, Jan. 15, for a volunteer cleanup event.

A violation of the fire restrictions is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.