By Susan A. Neufeld
Mountain Communities – The San Bernardino National Forest will increase the current seasonal fire restrictions, effective Saturday, July 1, 2017.
Hot, dry and windy conditions, along with critically dry and receptive fuel types throughout the San Bernardino National Forest, have prompted local fire managers to implement additional fire restrictions. The restrictions are designed to prevent accidental wildfires. These restrictions will affect additional recreation sites, and become more restrictive in areas already in restrictions.
The fire restrictions that are effective on all San Bernardino Forest lands are as follows:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire, except within the areas of the Mountain Top Ranger District.
- Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit are not exempt from prohibitions listed above, however, persons with a valid California Campfire Permit may use a portable contained-gas or liquefied-petroleum stove or lantern with a fuel shut-off valve.
- Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame is prohibited.
- An approved spark arrester is required for all off-highway vehicles.
Fire Management Officer Jaime Gamboa said that 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.”
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 fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both, as a Class B misdemeanor 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
4139 Tippecanoe Ave., San Bernardino
Big Bear Discovery Center
413 North Shore Drive/Highway 38, Fawnskin
San Jacinto Ranger Station
54270 Pine Crest, Idyllwild
Forest Country Ranger Station
1209 Lytle Creek Road, Lytle Cree
Mill Creek Visitor Center
34701 Mill Creek Road, Mentone
Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center
51-500 Highway 74, Palm Desert
Remember if you see something say something and keep out mountain communities safe.