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National parks begin fire restrictions for summer

National parks begin fire restrictions for summer

As of June 29 there is no cigarette smoking, wood and charcoal fires below 6,000 ft. elevation

@TheSunGazette

SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS – High heat, no moisture and lots of dry vegetation mean that fire season has begun in the mountains and restrictions along with it.

As of June 29, the National Park Services instituted Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks due to rapidly decreasing fuel moistures, increase in temperatures, and increased fuel loading due to late season rains in the Kaweah River drainage. 

With current moderate-high fire danger and entering into the hottest part of the year, fire danger is even more of a concern. Additionally, all across the state, areas are beginning to see the growth of large wildfires fueled by above-normal temperatures stretching firefighting resources.  

“In order to protect life and property, we must be proactive in our approach to fire,” said Kelly Singer, Sequoia National Park Fire Management Officer. “The purpose of fire restrictions is to reduce the risk of unwanted wildfire in high-risk areas this time of year,”

The following fire restrictions became effective at noon on June 29:

  • Wood and charcoal fires (including wood-burning stoves) are prohibited in South Fork campground. All fires and stoves are allowed in all other campgrounds.
  • Wood and charcoal fires (including wood-burning stoves) are prohibited below 6,000 feet. Year-round elevation/site-specific wilderness fire restrictions also apply.
  • Wood and charcoal fires (including wood-burning stoves) are prohibited in Hospital Rock and Ash Mountain picnic areas. All fires and stoves are allowed in all other designated picnic areas.
  • Smoking is also prohibited below 6,000 feet, except within an enclosed vehicle, a building in which smoking is allowed, a campground or picnic area where wood and charcoal fires are allowed, or a designated smoking area.
  • Gas, propane, alcohol (with and without a shutoff valve) and tablet/cube stoves are still permitted in all areas.

For information on the other fire restriction stage levels, please visit go.nps.gov/sekifirerestrictions.

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