KERNVILLE, California May 24, 2017 - Campfire and smoking restrictions will be implemented on the Kern River Ranger District, Sequoia National Forest, beginning Wednesday, May 24 until further notice. These restrictions are deemed necessary to protect public safety and prevent human-caused wildfire starts.
According to Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliott, campfires above 4,000 feet are still allowed within the Kern River Ranger District. The Western Divide and Hume Lake Ranger Districts are not under fire restrictions.
Criteria officials consider before implementing fire restrictions include current and predicted weather, fuels conditions, fire activity levels and available resources.
Under Forest Order 0513-17-14 the following is prohibited below 4,000 feet except in areas listed as exempt.
- Campfires or charcoal fires, are allowed, with a valid California Campfire Permit, in designated campgrounds and posted as “Exempt Areas” in the Forest Order 0513-17-14, Kern River District exhibit. A list of “exempt” areas is available at www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia. Free Campfire Permits are available at Forest Service offices and www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit.
- Smoking will be confined to enclosed vehicles or buildings, developed recreation sites and other designated areas as listed below.
- Lanterns and portable stoves with a shut-off valve that use gas, gelled alcohol, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed, with a Campfire Permit. Forest visitors must clear all flammable material five feet in all directions from their camp stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person attends the stove at all times when in use.
- Operating an internal combustion engine off of properly designated roads or trails and welding are all strictly prohibited during the increased fire restriction period.
- Fireworks, exploding targets, tracer rounds and other incendiary ammunition or devices are not allowed on the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument at any time. This includes sparklers and so-called safe and sane fireworks.
Violation of these fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of no more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization or incarceration for not more than six months, or both.
Reminder! California Campfire Permits are required for any source of flame or fire and are available for free at all Forest Service offices or online at www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit. Campfires must be attended by a responsible person at all times and completely extinguished after use.
Human-caused fires can be prevented. One less spark can mean one less wildfire. Do your part to prevent wildfires. To learn more visit www.preventwildfireca.org/one-less-spark-one-less-wildfire.
Forest visitors are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” and call ahead to the local ranger station to check on local conditions. For more information contact your local ranger station or visit the Sequoia National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia.