In May, National Forests in California enacted state-wide campfire restrictions, until further notice, to protect the health and safety of communities and firefighters. Igniting, building, maintaining or using a campfire on National Forests in California remain prohibited, except for developed campgrounds and certain permitted facilities. Check with local National Forests for any additional fire restrictions in place for specific locations.
Forest Service officials are taking this necessary step to ensure that firefighters are available to safely respond and manage incidents. 95 percent of all wildfires in California are human caused, and many are a result of unattended campfires. With the above-average fire season projected in much of California, and the combined potential for wildfires and smoke to impact communities and firefighters during this unprecedented pandemic, there is a need to focus on reducing or eliminating this large ignition source and do all we can to preserve firefighting resources.
"We need everyone now, more than ever, to help reduce the number of preventable wildfires," said Deputy Regional Forester Anthony Scardina, for the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region. "We are in state-wide fire restrictions, yet illegal campfires continue be an issue, putting a strain on firefighters and threating communities."
Forest visitors will still be able to use pressurized liquid or gas devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) with shut-off valves outside of developed campgrounds with a valid California Campfire Permit, which can be found at: permit.preventwildfiresca.org.
The Forest Service manages 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, which encompasses over 20 million acres across California, and assists State and Private forest landowners in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. National forests supply 50 percent of the water in California and form the watershed of most major aqueducts and more than 2,400 reservoirs throughout the state. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R5.