Interagency Fire Prevention and Education Team mobilizes due to increased drought conditions in California

On Monday, Aug. 11, in response to severe drought conditions and a 30 percent increase in the number of Forest visitors, the USDA Forest Service brought together an Interagency Fire Prevention and Education Team consisting of state and U.S. Forest Service personnel from around the country to increase fire awareness and reduce human-caused wildfires.

The Forest Service is currently restricting the following activities:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire outside of a developed recreation site or a wilderness area.
  2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  3. Operating an internal combustion engine off paved, gravel, or dirt National Forest System roads and trails, except boats on a water surface.

“California is experiencing extreme fire weather. Lack of rain, low humidity, high temperatures and strong winds compounded by high volumes of national forest visitors increases the risk of human-caused wildfire,” said Deb Bumpus, Forest Supervisor, Lassen National Forest. “For this reason, the team’s primary objectives are to raise public awareness of the safety and health issues related to human-caused fires such as arson, campfires, and equipment usage.”

By providing fire education and prevention resources to the public and coordinating with state and local entities, the team aims to:

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  • Reduce the loss of human life and property.
  • Reduce the loss of resources.
  • Reduce the cost of suppression.
  • Expand agency and public relations.

For more information on how you can help, go to fs.usda.gov/visit/know-before-you-go/fire

For more information on fire restrictions, go to fs.usda.gov/alerts/lassen/alerts-notices.