Forest Supervisor Kathy Hardy announced fire restrictions go into effect in the western half of Eldorado National Forest beginning June 17, a prepared statement from national forest public affairs officer Frank Mosbacher stated.
“Campfires and charcoal barbeques will be restricted to designated recreation sites and other fire-related activities will be prohibited until the end of fire season. Forest conditions are expected to continue drying and the entire Eldorado National Forest may be under fire restrictions by July 1.”
Several weeks ago, Hardy said fire restrictions might take effect somewhat earlier than usual due to the lack of rain and snow throughout the past winter and spring.
“The Eldorado National Forest has dried out faster than normal and we have reached the point where fire restrictions need to be implemented in areas generally below 6,000 feet,” said Hardy. “I anticipate that the entire Forest will be in fire restrictions on July 1,” she reiterated.
Legal descriptions of the fire restrictions, a map showing the fire restriction zones, and a list of exempted areas are displayed on the Eldorado National Forest Website: fs.usda.gov/eldorado.
The statement continues with lists of restrictions and locations within the national forest that must be observed by forest users.
Beginning June 17, the following acts are prohibited within the Eldorado National Forest Fire Restriction Area, as shown on the fire restriction map, until the end of the 2013 fire season:
• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, except within the stoves and fire rings provided in the Designated Recreation Sites
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building or in a Developed Recreation Site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material
• Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame
• Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark-arresting device properly installed and maintained in effective working order.
The following persons are exempt from this order:
• Persons with a permit from the Forest Service specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission
• Persons with a Special Use Permit from the Forest Service for a recreation residence in a recreation residence tract, may build, maintain, attend or use an elevated charcoal grill, propane grill or campfire at their recreation residence, provided that they have a valid California Campfire Permit and comply with the terms of the permit.
• Persons with valid California Campfire Permit are not exempt from the prohibitions listed above. However, persons with a valid California Campfire Permit may use a portable stove or lantern that uses gas, kerosene, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel.
These prohibitions are in addition to the general prohibitions in 36 CFR Part 261, Subpart A.
A violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
Contact Chris Daley at 530-344-5063 or [email protected] Follow @CDaleyMtDemo