Sequoia and Kings Canyon implement Stage 1 fire restrictions

(Rigo Moran)

Restrictions that began on May 31 prohibit wood, charcoal fires at lower elevations to prevent accidental fire starts in the rapidly drying Sierra Nevada ecosystem

SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, CALIF. – Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks will enter Stage 1 fire restrictions starting at 6 a.m. on Friday, May 31, 2024. These restrictions prohibit wood and charcoal fires, including wood-burning stoves, at elevations of 3,000 feet and below, affecting areas such as Potwisha Campground and the Hospital Rock and Foothills Picnic Areas.

Stage 1 fire restrictions also apply to wilderness areas below 6,000 feet, prohibiting wood and charcoal fires and smoking, except within enclosed vehicles, private residences where smoking is permitted, or designated smoking areas. Year-round, site-specific wilderness fire restrictions continue to apply, with details available through wilderness permits or trailhead rangers.

Certain areas typically affected by these restrictions, including South Fork and Buckeye Flat Campgrounds in Sequoia National Park, remain closed due to storm damage from early 2023.

“Even after a very wet winter, the lower elevations of the Sierra Nevada dry out quickly, and accidental fire starts in this ecosystem pose a serious risk of spreading fast,” said Fire Management Officer Leif Mathiesen. “Fire restrictions are meant to stop unwanted, dangerous ignitions before they occur. Firefighters thank you for respecting these important precautions put in place to protect you and your public lands.”

These fire restrictions do not apply to gas, propane, alcohol, and tablet/cube stoves, which remain permitted in areas affected by the restrictions. Fire crews may continue to conduct prescribed burns to reduce vegetation and protect structures from wildfires.

The National Park Service urges visitors to exercise extreme caution with fire in all areas of the parks. Additional fire safety tips include ensuring vehicles are in good working order, using only official, pre-built fire rings for campfires in front-country areas and ensuring campfires are fully extinguished before sleeping or leaving the area. Fireworks are prohibited year-round in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Stage 1 fire restrictions will remain in effect until conditions change significantly. More information about fire restrictions can be found at nps.gov/seki/learn/nature/fire-restrictions.htm.

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