Tinder-dry vegetation, exceptional drought conditions, increasing daytime temperatures, and several human-caused fires have prompted the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District Office; USDA Forest Service, Bridgeport and Carson ranger districts (USFS); the Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF); the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA); and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to announce the implementation of fire restrictionson all lands under their jurisdiction in western Nevada effective Friday, June 26, at 12:01 a.m. and lasting until further notice.
Vegetation in western Nevada and eastern California is significantly dryer for this time of year. Below average moisture this past winter and spring along with warmer than average temperatures have increased the rate of vegetation dry-out. A large crop of grass and brush is evident at lower elevations and trees, and other forest vegetation at higher elevations is quickly drying out. People are encouraged to safely enjoy the public lands, bearing in mind that human-caused fires annually threaten human life, private property, and public land resources every summer.
The potential for devastating fires during the summer is very real. Report fires to the Sierra Front Interagency Fire Dispatch Center, Minden, Nevada, 775-883-5995, or dial 911.
Fire restrictions prohibit the following:
1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire (using wood, charcoal or any other material), campfire, or stove fire except a portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel outside of a developed fee campground or picnic area (except by permit).
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or at a developed campground or picnic area.
3. Operating vehicles or other motorized equipment off of existing paved, gravel, or dirt roads.
4. Welding or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.
5. Using, or causing to be used, any explosive, except by permit.
6. Possession or use of fireworks (always prohibited) or any other incendiary device.
7. Use of tracer rounds, steel-core ammunition, or exploding targets, including Binary Explosive Targets while recreational shooting.
In addition, the NDF prohibits operating vehicles or equipment traveling on or using wildland areas without at least an axe, shovel and one gallon of water. The BLM, BIA and USFWS require all motor vehicles to be equipped with an operational spark arrester pursuant to 43 CFR 8343.1(c). All agencies recommend that individuals carry cell phones while in the wildlands or national forests to report wildfires.
Affected areas include the following:
BLM – all areas, roads and trails on the BLM-Carson City District outside of developed recreation sites with the exception of Sand Mountain Recreation Area, and the portion of the Walker Lake Recreation Area within 100 yards of Walker Lake, or between Walker Lake and U.S. Highway 95 where campfires are permitted.
USFS – all areas, roads, and trails within the Bridgeport and Carson ranger districts on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest with the exception of using campfires within the approved fire pits or grills provided in open Fee Recreation sites.
NDF – all areas, roads and trails on state lands including the following state parks: Lake Tahoe Nevada, Washoe Lake, Berlin-Ichthyosaur, Rye Patch State Recreation Area, the Carson River Ranches portion of Ft. Churchill, and Dayton in western Nevada.
BIA - Approximately 300 allotments encompassing 59,310 acres in Douglas County, Nevada, within the Carson Watershed that the U.S. Government (BIA) holds in trust for hundreds of individual Indian landowners, collectively known as the Pine Nut Allotments.
USFWS - all areas, roads and trails within the boundaries of the Stillwater, Anaho Island, and Fallon National Wildlife Refuges. Campfires are prohibited on these refuge lands year-round.
Everyone is reminded that charcoal grills cannot be used during fire restrictions. Charcoal burns longer and hotter than wood and may appear to be cold; however, embers can linger for hours. Winds can spread the embers from charcoal and campfires into vegetation, igniting a wildfire. Propane or white gas stoves are acceptable for use during fire restrictions.
As fire season continues the BLM, USFS, NDF, BIA, and USFWS will be aggressively citing those who do not comply with the posted restrictions and those who use or possess fireworks. Violation of these prohibitions is subject to punishment by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both, as Class B misdemeanors under federal law (agency statutes vary). Violators found guilty of having a fire during restrictions on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest could receive a maximum fine of $5,000 or six months in jail or both. Persons may also be responsible for resource damage, suppression costs, and any injuries that occur if they are found liable for causing a wildfire.
For more information or clarification on the restrictions, please contact the BLM-Carson City District Office at 775-885-6000, USFS Bridgeport Ranger District at 760-932-7070 and Carson Ranger District at 775-882-2766; the NDF at 775-684-2500; the BIA at 775-887-3500; and the USFWS at 775-423-5128.
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We love the Basin and Range region and work to promote appreciation and respect for the area. We encourage all users to learn about, play in and protect this amazing resource.
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