Information provided by the Bureau of Land Management.
With the 2020 wildfire year upon us, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued a statewide fire prevention order to help prevent the risk of wildfires igniting in California. According to a recent release, the order serves as a reminder of basic precautions to reduce wildfires that apply year-round to BLM-managed public lands, areas, roads, waterways and trails. The order can be viewed online here.
According to the release, BLM said that on average, human-caused wildfires make up 95% of all wildfires in California. Many of these wildfires occur close in proximity to roadways, communities, and recreational areas, posing a considerable threat to public safety. In 2019, more than 170 wildfires burned on nearly 160,000 acres of BLM-managed public lands in California.
The fire prevention order addresses wildfire safety measures for use of campfires outside of developed campgrounds and complements state and local wildfire prevention laws, regulations and activities. Under this order, the public is required to follow these criteria before building, attending, maintaining, or using a campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove outside of a developed campground:
- maintain a five-foot diameter area cleared to bare soil and free of any overhead flammable materials in all directions around the campfire,
- have on hand a functioning round-point shovel, with an overall length of at least 35 inches, that can be easily accessed within a reasonable amount of time in response to a fire ignition,
- possess a valid California Campfire Permit, available free of charge www.preventwildfireca.org/
Anyone found guilty of violating a fire prevention order may be fined not more than $100,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than 12 months, the release said. Restitution for total fire suppression and damage costs incurred may be borne by the trespasser.
For questions, please call a local BLM field office or check BLM California Fire Restrictions information found at https://www.blm.gov/programs/