NEVADA CITY, Calif., Sept. 2, 2022— Ongoing drought and hot temperatures have prompted the Tahoe National Forest to increase fire restrictions starting today September 2, 2022. Under these restrictions, campfires or charcoal briquette fires continue to be only allowed in established fire rings within designated developed campgrounds and day-use sites. Other restrictions include discharging of firearms, smoking, and use of vehicles off designated roads.
“As we move into the height of fire season in California, we are putting additional fire restrictions in place to protect our forests and surrounding communities,” said Acting Tahoe National Forest Fire Management Officer Kyle Jacobson. “Vegetation continues to dry amid drought conditions, which has lowered fuel moistures to a critical level. Additionally, a local heat warning is in effect for the next week.”
The decision to go into a higher level of fire restrictions is based on a variety of factors. Fire management officials monitor the current wildfire conditions on the forest, fuel moisture levels, and predicted weather to determine when to begin, increase, and rescind fire restrictions.
Under current fire restrictions, the following are prohibited:
- Building or maintaining a fire, campfire, or charcoal briquette fire outside of established fire rings within designated developed campgrounds and picnic areas.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a designated campground or recreation area, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
- Using a motor vehicle off paved, gravel or dirt National Forest System roads and trails, except within a designated developed Off-Highway Vehicle area and boats on a water surface
- Discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun. Hunters with a valid hunting license during open-hunting season as specified by the laws of the State of California are exempt from this restriction.
Regardless of conditions and time of year, we must remain vigilant at all times to avoid human-caused wildfires. Help protect our forests, firefighters, and communities by following these principals when out on forested lands:
- Campfires: Attend your campfire at all times. Ensure your fire is completely extinguished: drown with water (NOT dirt), stir with your shovel, drown again, and feel for any heat using the back of your hand. Continue this process until no heat remains.
- Stoves: If using pressurized or bottled liquid fuel stoves, lanterns, or heating devices, use in barren areas with at least 3 feet of clearance from grasses and other debris that may catch fire. Prevent stoves from tipping.
- Vehicles: When traveling, ensure your chains are properly connected. The hot underside of the vehicle and dragging chains can start a fire. Stick to driving on designated roads and trails and be careful to not park your car or OHV in tall, dry, vegetation, including grass. The Tahoe National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map can be found on our website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/tahoe/mvum.
- Spark Arrestors: Ensure that all internal or external combustion engines have a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.
- Flammable Items: Fireworks are prohibited on all national forests year-round, leave them and all other pyrotechnic devices at home. Always use caution with smoking. Extinguish all smoking materials dead out on bare soil. Pack out all cigarette butts and filters.
The full Forest Order No. 17-22-08 can be found on the Forest Website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/tahoe/ForestOrders.