Sequoia National Forest drops fire restraints

U.S. Forest Service lifts fire restrictions in Sequoia National Forest following cooling temps, rainy skies

SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST – Hikers, campers and travelers can easily enjoy a snug night around a warm campfire in the Sequoia National Forest now that fire restrictions have been lifted.

Now that weather temperatures in the state have dropped from high heat to dwindling cold, the United States Forest Service announced lifted fire restrictions on the Sequoia National Forest. According to the Forest Service’s website, the restrictions were originally scheduled to last through Nov. 30, but thanks to the chilled weather and much needed rainfall, the restrictions have been rescinded.

Despite the weather change, forest fires are still a threat, so visitors are asked by the Forest Service to remain vigilant while camping or hiking and to minimize campfire impacts when achievable. Additionally, forest visitors are always expected to proceed with caution when it comes to campfires and other potential ignition sources.

Now that restrictions have been rescinded, forest visitors are allowed to have open campfires outside of developed campgrounds and on recreation sites. However, campfire permits are still required. California campfire permits are free and available online at www.readyforwildfire.org/prevent-wildfire/.

Before the restrictions were lifted, the fire restrictions previously in place prohibited campfires, welding and smoking on all Forest Service-managed public lands managed below 5,000 feet. This included lands on developed and undeveloped campsites. Campfires were allowed with the restrictions, but only above 5,000 feet in developed campgrounds. 

According to the Forest Service website, when a forest fire ignites, the potential for catastrophic property damage and loss of life is high due to the close proximity between large population centers and communities found within the forest. 

For those interested in learning how to prevent fires caused by human interaction, the information is available at the website https://www.ready.gov/wildfires. For anyone interested in learning more about how to reduce the risk of damage to homes and communities from wildfires, the information is available at www.fireadapted.org.

For any additional information concerning campfires and the national forest, residents can contact any of the Forest offices during operating hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This includes the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Porterville, Hume Lake Ranger District in Dunlap, Kern River Ranger District in Kernville and Western Divide Ranger District in Springville.

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