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Campfires banned in Sequoia National Parks, National Forest

Campfires banned in Sequoia National Parks, National Forest

A very dry winter led to high fire danger much earlier than in previous years. Continued high temperatures and low moisture have prompted fire officials to increase fire restrictions.

The Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument (Sequoia) increased the level of fire restrictions on June 26. Sequoia fire officials will keep these restrictions in effect until further notice.

No campfires are being allowed anywhere on the forest. Stoves and lanterns with shut-off valves that use gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel will be allowed only in authorized campsites if the operator possesses a valid California Campfire Permit. A list of these authorized locations is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia. The list includes most campsites, the Jennie Lakes Wilderness, the Golden Trout Wilderness, and the Dome Land Wilderness.

Campfire permits and a list of areas allowing stoves on the Sequoia National Forest may also be obtained at Forest Service visitor information desks. When using a stove, remember to clear all flammable material 5 feet in all directions from the stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person attends the stove at all times when in use.

Operating an internal combustion engine outside properly designated roads or trails, welding, and using explosives will all be strictly prohibited during these increased restrictions. If riding a motorized vehicle on trails, ensure your engine is tuned, operating properly, and has an approved spark arrester.

Smoking will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles and within authorized recreation sites.

Brent Skaggs, Forest Fire Management Officer, stated, “Forest fuel moisture is at a level we usually don’t see until much later in the summer, and it will take everyone’s diligence to prevent wildfires.”

These restrictions will remain in place until the end of the fire season, normally in late autumn. Anyone causing a wildfire could be liable for all costs associated with suppressing the fire. Visitors to Forest Service and adjacent BLM and Park Service lands need to carefully follow each agency’s current fire restrictions. If you spot a fire, call 911.

The National Park Service followed up the Forest Service’s announcement by instituting its own fire restrictions in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks on July 1, 2013.

No wood or barbecue fires are permitted below 6,000 feet. This includes Ash Mountain and Hospital Rock Picnic Area, Cedar Grove Village picnic areas, and the Foothills and Cedar Groves area campgrounds: South Fork, Potwisha, Buckeye, Sentinel, Sheep Creek, Canyon View, and Moraine. Gas or propane stoves may be used at all elevations.

For wilderness/backpacking travel, no wood or barbeque fires are permitted at any elevation. Gas or propane stoves may be used at all elevations.

No smoking at any elevation, except in a campground where wood fires are allowed, an enclosed vehicle, a building which allows smoking, or within designated areas (within 30 feet of existing fire safe ashtrays provided at visitor centers, hotel lobbies, etc).

These National Park Service restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.

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