SACRAMENTO April 30, 2020 – With the 2020 wildfire year upon us, theBureau of Land Management has issued a statewide Fire Prevention Order to help prevent the risk of wildfires igniting in California. The Fire Prevention Order serves as a reminder of basic precautions to reduce wildfires that apply year-round to BLM-managed public lands, areas, roads, waterways, and trails. The Fire Prevention Order can be viewed online here.
On average, human-caused wildfires make up 95 percent of all wildfires in California. Many of these wildfires occur close in proximity to roadways, communities and recreational areas, posing considerable threat to public safety. In 2019, more than 170 wildfires burned on nearly 160,000 acres of BLM-managed public lands in California. Taking individual responsibility to reduce wildfire risk while recreating on public lands, around homes and communities, before a fire occurs can help keep property, the public, and firefighters safe.
The Fire Prevention Order addresses wildfire safety measures for use of campfires outside of developed campgrounds and complements state and local wildfire prevention laws, regulations and activities. Under this order, the public is required to follow these criteria before building, attending, maintaining, or using a campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove, outside of a developed campground:
- maintain a five-foot diameter area cleared to bare soil and free of any overhead flammable materials in all directions around the campfire,
- have on hand a functioning round-point shovel, with an overall length of at least 35 inches, that can be easily accessed within a reasonable amount of time in response to a fire ignition,
- possess a valid California Campfire Permit, available free of charge www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire Permits.
Additional seasonal fire restrictions may be issued by local BLM offices based on conditions, as necessary. This statewide Fire Prevention Order does not supersede local BLM fire orders or federal regulations.
Anyone found guilty of violating a fire prevention order may be fined not more than $100,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than 12 months. Restitution for total fire suppression and damage costs incurred may be borne by the trespasser.
For questions, please call a local BLM field office or visit the BLM California Fire Restrictions information found at https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/california/fire-restrictions. For more information on campfire safety, visit https://www.readyforwildfire.org/prevent-wildfire/campfire-safety/.