San Bernardino, Calif., June 24, 2015
As fire season begins the San Bernardino National Forest will implement seasonal fire restrictions effective, Monday, June 29, 2015.
“As California goes into our fourth year of drought, the forest has felt the effects with lower than normal winter snow and rainfall making the forest more susceptible to fire,” said Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron. “Our number one priority on the forest is the safety of our visitors making the fire restrictions in place necessary,” said Fire Management Officer Jaime Gamboa. “The community and all forest users can help in the prevention of fires by being vigilant in reporting illegal and inappropriate behavior within our community throughout the year.”
Fire restrictions and guidelines effective Monday June 29, 2015 on the San Bernardino National Forest are as follows:
• No wood or charcoal fires anywhere on the San Bernardino National Forest.
• Individuals with a valid California Camp fire Permit may use a propane or gas cooking stove.
• Fireworks are always prohibited on 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.
• Smoking is only permitted within enclosed buildings or vehicles.
• Recreational shooting is limited to Public Shooting Ranges operated under special use permit only, except those engaged in legal hunting.
“The intensity of this year’s first fire has shown the effects the drought has had on our forest. Drought stressed trees, bark beetle killed timber and dry brush due to the lack of winter moisture is leading to a dangerous fire season. These restrictions will ensure that not only our guests and community members are safe during this fire season but also our employees. As the fire season continues we will continue to develop and reevaluate our fire restrictions,” said Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron.”
Our predictive services branch of the US Forest Service has predicted higher than average temperatures over the coming months due to warmer nighttime temperatures and below normal summertime monsoonal precipitation causing increase potential for large fires within Southern California.
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 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
Big Bear Discovery Center
41397 North Shore Drive / Highway 38, Fawnskin
Idyllwild Ranger Station
54270 Pine Crest, Idyllwild
Lytle Creek Ranger Station
1209 Lytle Creek Road, Lytle Creek
Mill Creek Visitor Center
34701 Mill Creek Road, Mentone
Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center
51-500 Highway 74 Palm Desert
About the U.S. Forest Service:
The mission of the US Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the US Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the United States, of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. Learn more at http://www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf