Information provided by the Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Central Coast Field Office is easing seasonal fire restrictions on Dec. 18 on approximately 300,000 acres of public land thanks to a reduction in the potential for wildland fire. This easing of restrictions applies to public lands managed by the Central Coast Field Office in Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus counties.
A recent release stated that seasonal fire restrictions had been initiated on May 15. Public land visitors can again use campfires outside of developed campgrounds and posted recreation sites. Target shooting is generally allowed if it is done in a safe manner and without damaging natural resources or improvements. BLM encourages the public to recreate responsibly on public lands and to take precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Stay local, plan ahead, practice safe social distancing and wear a mask when social distancing is not possible it what it advises.
The temporary suspension on recreational target shooting was lifted on Nov. 13 and coincided with the reopening of Panoche and Tumey Hills recreation areas to vehicle access. BLM noted that shooting remains strictly prohibited in developed recreation sites and other areas where posted. Visitors are encouraged to check weather conditions for Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches to avoid shooting in hot, dry and windy conditions. Recreational target shooters are required to take all spent shells, brass and targets when the leave the Bureau’s managed areas. More information on safe recreational target shooting can be found here.
Fire prevention safety tips include keeping vehicles off dry grass or brush; carrying a fire extinguisher, shovel and water, and getting a permit for any campfire or use of portable gas stoves. California campfire permits are available free online or at Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire offices. The release stated that some BLM office lobbies and public rooms are closed to in-person visits.
For more information on preventing wildfires and additional tips for keeping campfires and target shooting safe, visit ReadyForWildfire.org or call the Central Coast Field Office at (831) 582-2200. The field office can also provide additional information on public lands available for target shooting. Individuals who spark wildfires, intentionally or unintentionally, can be held responsible for fire suppression and repair costs.