Information provided by Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Central Coast Field Office said on Oct. 8 that it will extend the annual vehicle closure for the Panoche and Tumey Hills recreation areas in San Benito County to Friday, Nov. 13 due to extreme wildland fire danger. The vehicle closure may be lifted sooner if conditions allow and fire danger subsides. Both recreation areas remain open for hiking, hunting and bicycling.
The release reminded outdoor enthusiasts that BLM managed public lands throughout central California, which include these recreation areas, are still under fire restrictions that temporarily prohibit all target shooting due to high wildland fire danger. Hunting is allowed on Bureau managed public lands by individuals with a valid State of California hunting license and who are actively engaged in the legal take or pursuit of game and non-game species in accordance with current California hunting regulations. Hunting on BLM public lands is managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Please visit https://wildlife.ca.gov/hunting for more information.
Fire restrictions throughout central California also ban any use of open flame, such as campfires, barbecues or stoves and lanterns, including within established campgrounds.
To date, for 2020 there have been more than 8,300 wildland fires that have burned a record 4 million acres in California with fires occurring in proximity to roadways, communities and recreational areas posing considerable threats to public safety. To help keep property, the public and firefighters safe, recreationists are encouraged to take personal responsibility to reduce wildland fire risk while on public lands, around their homes and in their communities. To learn how to prevent wildland fires, visit www.readyforwildfire.org.
The releases added that anyone found guilty of violating a fire prevention order may be fined up to $100,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 12 months. Individuals who spark wildland fires, intentionally or unintentionally, may be held liable for fire suppression and repair costs. An interactive map and listing of fire restrictions throughout BLM California are available at https://go.usa.gov/xmUEG.