Plumas National Forest enters Stage I Fire Restrictions Monday

The Plumas National Forest is entering Stage I Fire Restrictions on Monday, June 24, based on data confirming the Energy Release Component is above the 60th percentile and increasing, combined with drying fuels.

This is six weeks earlier than last year, when Stage I Fire Restrictions went into effect Aug. 4. Despite a slightly above average snowpack, recent periods of unseasonably hot temperatures melted snowpack faster than expected.  Periods of hotter than average temperatures are forecasted to continue in the area, further drying fuels and increasing fire danger.

In Stage I Fire Restrictions, campfires are only allowed in specific designated recreation sites, in established campfire rings. Sites are listed in Exhibit A of the closure order.

Smoking is only allowed within an enclosed vehicle or building, in one of the designated recreation sites listed in Exhibit A, or an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is completely clear of all flammable material.

Additionally, internal combustion engines, such as vehicles and generators, may only be used on designated roads and trails.  Boat engines are exempt.

Chainsaw use for firewood is still permitted, but woodcutters need to ensure that they are checking the Woodcutting Status each day prior to cutting by calling (800) 847-7766.  For the latest information on the Plumas National Forest firewood cutting program, please visit fs.usda.gov/main/plumas/passes-permits/forestproducts.

Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame is prohibited.

Possession of a valid California Campfire Permit is not an exemption from the prohibitions. However, California Campfire Permit holders can use portable campfire pits, stoves or lanterns that use gas, kerosene, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel as long as it has a working shut-off valve and is used in an area that is at least 3 feet from any flammable materials.

California Campfire Permits are free and available at Forest Service and CAL Fire offices or online at permit.preventwildfiresca.org/.

“We are seeing an earlier start to fire season on the Plumas National Forest, especially compared to the past two years. Current fire danger indices are above average for this time of year and weather conditions are predicted to remain warm and dry,” said Plumas National Forest Acting Fire Management Officer Ryan Bauer.

“The Plumas National Forest has already had several fire starts in recent weeks, which we have been able to suppress quickly, along with some agency assists supporting our partners nearby, like the Double Fire in Brownsville on Thursday,” Bauer said.  “The continued cooperation of area residents and visitors following the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions and helping us prevent human-caused wildfires this fire season is greatly appreciated.”

Area residents and visitors are also reminded that fire danger is a factor throughout the Forest, even in recently burned areas.

“We ask that anyone choosing to recreate in an area that has burned in the past 6 years not only watch for hazards, but also be careful with anything that can spark a wildfire,” Bauer said. “Even areas that burned at high intensity like the Camp, North Complex and Dixie fires can burn again.”

Suspected wildfires can be reported by calling 911.

The order is formally referenced as Closure Order Number 05-11-24-01. Violations of the prohibitions are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both.

For more information on the Plumas National Forest, visit .fs.usda.gov/plumas, or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas.