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Too Little Rain = Increased Fire Restrictions



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Not everyone enjoys rain, but as we’ve already seen, an especially dry winter has led to an unseasonably early high fire danger in Kern County and other parts of Southern California. In response to the increasing potential for wildfires, the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument (Sequoia) in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Bakersfield Field Office recently implemented early fire restrictions, in place until further notice.

Restrictions apply to the use of campfires, camping stoves, internal combustion engines and smoking, and must be followed by all visitors to Forest Service and adjacent BLM lands. 

Agency officials are asking for the public’s patience and assistance for a safe fire season. “If you see a fire or someone starting a fire, please report it—we need your help to catch the fires and anyone that starts them,” said David Brinsfield, Fire Chief BLM Bakersfield. These restrictions will remain in place until the end of the fire season, normally in late autumn.

Further restrictions may be imposed if the fire danger increases, and there are no exempt areas outside of campgrounds or developed recreation sites within the 1.2 million acre Sequoia National Forest. And remember, anyone causing a wildfire could be liable for all costs associated with suppressing the fire. Some of these restrictions include:
  • Visitors must possess a valid California Campfire Permit for any type of fire use. 

  • Campfires and barbecue charcoal fires are allowed in developed recreation sites or campgrounds. 

  • Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed outside of developed recreation sites or campgrounds with a campfire permit. 

  • Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or a barren area three feet in diameter or a campground or specified recreation site. 

  • Wood campfires, charcoal fires and barbecues outside of recreation sites and campgrounds are prohibited.  

For a complete list of fire restrictions and other information, please visit: fs.usda.gov/sequoia.

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