The Plumas National Forest is entering Stage I Fire Restrictions today, Friday, Aug. 4.
While later than usual following a historic winter, wet spring and lingering snowpack, fire danger in the area is increasing. Hot summer weather is forecasted to continue in the area and fuel conditions across the forest are drying.
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 1-800-847-7766. For the latest information on the Plumas National Forest firewood cutting program, visit https://www.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 https://permit.preventwildfiresca.org/.
“We were extremely fortunate to have a later spring delay fire season a bit,” said Plumas National Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer Mitch Wilson. “The Plumas National Forest has experienced tremendous impacts from wildfire over the past 5 years. 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.”
Fire danger is still a factor, even in recently burned areas.
“We ask that anyone choosing to recreate in a recently burned area not only watch for hazards, but also be careful with anything that can spark a wildfire. Even areas that burned at high intensity can burn again,” Wilson said.
Suspected wildfires can be reported by calling 911.
The order is formally referenced as Closure Order Number 05-11-23-01. 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.