Information provided by Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office
The Bureau of Land Management is issuing seasonal fire restrictions effective Thursday, May 25, for public lands managed by the Central Coast Field Office, primarily located in western Fresno, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties, due to dry conditions and wildland fire danger. These seasonal restrictions are in addition to the year-round statewide fire prevention order, issued on April 28, 2020. This seasonal fire order will remain in effect until further notice.
On average, human-caused wildfires make up 95% of wildfires in California. Records show recreational target shooting has sparked more than half the wildland fires within the Central Coast Field Office boundary in the last decade. Many of these wildfires occur close in proximity to roadways, communities and recreational areas, posing considerable threat to public safety. Taking individual responsibility to reduce wildfire risk, while recreating on public lands, around homes and communities, before a fire occurs can help keep property, the public and firefighters safe.
“Due to drying conditions, significant dead and dying grasses and high fire danger, it has become necessary to implement additional fire restrictions,” advises Central Coast Field Manager Zachary Ormsby. “We ask for your cooperation to help minimize fire potential. These proactive measures are put in place to protect public land visitors, communities, adjacent private lands, and natural resources from the risk of wildfire.”
An increase in wildfire severity is expected based on foretasted climate scenarios, as well as an expansion of wildfire season over much of the western United States. The following restrictions will remain in place until the fire danger subsides:
- No Campfires, briquette/charcoal barbecues, or stove fires are allowed outside of agency-provided fire rings or barbecues at designated developed recreation sites.
- No Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed campground with a three-foot diameter area clear of brush and all flammable materials.
- No welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
- No motorized vehicles or tools powered by internal combustion engines off designated roads or trails.
- No target shooting, except with a state of California hunting license and in accordance with California hunting regulations. The use of any steel-jacked, steel core or incendiary ammunition of any caliber is prohibited. Visit www.wheretoshoot.org for alternative recreational target shooting locations. Exploding targets or metal used for recreational shooting is prohibited.
As always, possessing, discharging or using fireworks or pyrotechnic devices are prohibited across Bureau of Land Management lands. Additionally, a valid California Campfire Permits is required to operate a stove or fire on these public lands.
Help Prevent Fires
Residents and visitors are reminded to help prevent human-caused fires:
- Make sure all campfires are dead out! Drown it and stir around the fire area with a shovel to wet any remaining embers and ash. If it’s not cool, it is not out.
- Be sure to maintain proper tire pressure for all vehicles, ensure adequate tire tread, and check brakes for overheating. Do not drive or park on brush or grass. Do not drag chains while towing.
- Motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and chainsaws require an approved spark arrestor.
- Remember the use of steel-core ammunition, although legal while hunting, can greatly increase the chance of a wildfire if ricocheted off objects such as rocks.
Anyone found guilty of violating a fire prevention order may be fined not more than $100,000 and/or face imprisonment for not more than 12 months. Restitution for total fire suppression and damage costs incurred may be borne by the trespasser.
To learn how to prevent wildland fires, visit online at www.readyforwildfire.org. A Map of current restrictions and active fire prevention orders are available online at: https://go.usa.gov/xmUEG. Fire weather forecasts are available through the National Weather Service at, https://www.weather.gov/fire/. For specific questions, please contact the Central Coast Field Office at (831) 208-0745.