Monday, July 25, 2022

Six Rivers National Forest Activates Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2022 at 11:06 AM

Stage 1 fire restrictions were activated today by the Six Rivers National Forest due to the ongoing drought and warming conditions.

Under the restrictions, campfires can still be made in established fire rings "within designated developed campgrounds and day-use sites only," according to a news release, but are not allowed in all of the forest's recreation sites.

“Six Rivers wants visitors to continue enjoying our beautiful forest and explore the outdoors, we need to just make sure we are taking all precautions,” said Forest Supervisor Ted McArthur. “We know how important and nostalgic campfires are, so we are not completely restricting them yet, but we enforcing campfires stay in designated fire rings within forest developed sites like campgrounds. We have staff at these locations regularly and these areas are clear of debris and vegetation which decreases the chances of an escaped campfire becoming a wildfire.”

The restrictions also prohibit: Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a designated campground or recreation area, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material and using a motor vehicle off paved, gravel or dirt National Forest System roads and trails, except within a designated developed Off-Highway Vehicle area.

Read the Six Rivers National Forest release below:
Ongoing drought and warming conditions have prompted the Six Rivers National Forest to initiate Stage 1 fire restrictions starting today, July 25, 2022. Under these restrictions, the public can still build or maintain a fire, campfire, or charcoal briquette fire in established fire rings within designated developed campgrounds and day-use sites only. However, campfires will not be allowed at all Six Rivers National Forest recreation sites.

“Six Rivers wants visitors to continue enjoying our beautiful forest and explore the outdoors, we need to just make sure we are taking all precautions,” said Forest Supervisor Ted McArthur. “We know how important and nostalgic campfires are, so we are not completely restricting them yet, but we enforcing campfires stay in designated fire rings within forest developed sites like campgrounds. We have staff at these locations regularly and these areas are clear of debris and vegetation which decreases the chances of an escaped campfire becoming a wildfire.”

Fire management officials monitor wildfire conditions on the forest year-round. The decision to move into fire restrictions is based on fuel moisture levels, and predicted weather. This helps officials to determine when to begin, increase, and rescind fire restrictions. Fire restriction rules can vary throughout the year. Currently, the Six Rivers National Forest is under stage 1 restrictions.

Stage 1 means the following are prohibited:
  • Building or maintaining a fire, campfire, or charcoal briquette fire outside of established fire rings within designated developed campgrounds and picnic areas.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a designated campground or recreation area, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Using a motor vehicle off paved, gravel or dirt National Forest System roads and trails, except within a designated developed Off-Highway Vehicle area.

Regardless of conditions and time of year, we must always remain vigilant to avoid human-caused wildfires. Help protect our forests, firefighters, and communities by following these principals when out on forested lands:

  • Campfires: Always attend to your campfire.
  • Ensure your fire is completely extinguished: drown with water (NOT dirt), stir with your shovel, drown again, and feel for any heat using the back of your hand. Continue this process until no heat remains.
  • Stoves: If using pressurized or bottled liquid fuel stoves, lanterns, or heating devices, use in barren areas with at least 3 feet of clearance from grasses and other debris that may catch fire. Prevent stoves from tipping.
  • Vehicles: When traveling, ensure your chains are properly connected. The hot underside of the vehicle and dragging chains can start a fire. Stick to driving on designated roads and trails and be careful to not park your car or OHV in tall, dry, vegetation, including grass.
  • Spark Arrestors: Ensure that all internal or external combustion engines have a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.
  • Flammable Items: Fireworks are prohibited on all national forests year-round, leave them and all other pyrotechnic devices at home.
  • Always use caution with smoking. Extinguish all smoking materials dead out on bare soil. Pack out all cigarette butts and filters.

To view a list of all designated developed recreation sites, visit Recreation Sites (fs.fed.us) or click here.

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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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