Information provided by the Bureau of Land Management.
With the increasing number of wildfires burning through much of California, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Central Coast Field Office is increasing target shooting and fire restrictions to Stage 2. Beginning on August 1, the restrictions will affect BLM-managed public lands in Fresno, Monterey, and San Benito County.
Stage 2 fire restrictions temporarily prohibit all recreational target shooting and bans all types of campfires including barbeques and open fires, according to the BLM news release. Portable stoves equipped with gas, jelled petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel are still authorized with a valid California permit. Permits are obtainable free of charge at all BLM, CAL FIRE and Forest Services offices as well as online.
Due to low humidity, erratic winds, and above normal temperatures, California has experienced an active wildland fire year. It is estimated that roughly 90 percent of wildfires in the United States are caused by humans. Over the last decade, BLM records indicate that target shooting is the leading cause of fire starts on public lands managed by the Central Coast Field Office. Whether intentional or unintentional, individuals who spark wildfires may be held responsible for fire suppression and repair costs.
The public is advised to be extremely careful when recreating outdoors and do the following: carry a shovel and water at all times, and check weather forecasts and fire danger ratings before leaving home.
In order to ensure the safety of the San Benito County community, the following restrictions placed by the BLM will remain in place until fire dangers subside:
- No campfires, barbeques or open fires, including in a developed campground. Portable stoves with gas, jelled petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel are still authorized with a valid California campfire permit.
- No tools powered by internal combustion engines off established roads or trails (chainsaws or lawn mowers).
- No motorized vehicles off established roads or trails.
- No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or at a developed recreation site, or other designated areas.
- No target shooting – hot bullet fragments and exploding targets from recreational shooting can spark a wildfire. Use of firearms for hunting is still allowed.
- No fireworks allowed, including “safe and sane” fireworks.
- No welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, except by special permit.
- No explosives, except by special permit.
Information on how to learn more about wildfire prevention and current listings of fire restrictions on BLM managed lands are available online. Specific questions can be addressed to the Central Coast Field Office at (831) 582-2200.