WILLOWS, CA, 7/25/22 – Ongoing drought and warming temperatures prompted Mendocino National Forest officials to issue stage 1 fire-use restrictions on Monday. These restrictions, which include limitations on campfires and smoking on forest lands, will remain in effect until the end of 2022’s fire season.
“At this stage, the public can still enjoy a campfire or stove fire in designated fire-safe campgrounds or in Wilderness Areas so long as they have a valid California Campfire Permit,” Fire Management Officer Curtis Coots said in a news release from the Forest Service.
Forest officials hope to minimize human-caused wildfires in the forest by enacting the prohibitions detailed in Forest Order No. 08-22-06.
“The decision to move into fire restrictions is based on fuel moisture levels and predicted weather conditions,” Coots explained. “We want to help protect undeveloped areas of the forest and our surrounding communities.”
The following activities are now prohibited, per the news release:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or within the designated recreation sites shown in Exhibit A of the forest order.
- Operating an internal combustion engine, except on National Forest System roads or trails.
- Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame.
- Using an explosive.
- Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.
- Persons with a permit from the Forest Service specifically exempting them from this order.
- Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit are not exempt from the prohibitions listed in this order. However, persons with a valid California Campfire Permit may use portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel and may also build, maintain, attend or use a fire, campfire, or stove fire in the designated fire-safe recreation sites listed in Exhibit A, as well as in federally designated Wilderness Areas as shown on Exhibit B.
- Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
- Persons with a Special Use Permit from the Forest Service for a recreation residence on the Mendocino National Forest are exempt from prohibition numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 while they are at their recreation residence.
Neighboring campgrounds could have similar restrictions, the Forest Service advised. Forest officials encouraged visitors to contact any area they plan to visit to learn its specific fire restrictions and conditions.
Interested residents can apply for a California Campfire Permit online.