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Mendocino National Forest Prohibits Open Flames to Minimize Risk of Human-Caused Fires

The following press release was issued by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service

View of fire from Hwy 162 during 2020’s August Complex Fires [Picture provided by the Mendocino National Forest Facebook page]

Campfires, stove fires, and other sources of open flames are prohibited on the Mendocino National Forest starting Sept. 16, according to a new forest order issued by USDA Forest Service staff. The prohibitions outlined in Forest Order No. 08-21-04 replace previous restrictions enacted earlier this summer, but now also apply to designated wilderness areas and developed recreation sites, including campgrounds and established fire rings.

The restrictions are being implemented to minimize risks of human-caused wildfires. The order will remain in effect through Oct. 31.

Fire restrictions listed in the order include:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, including in wilderness areas and developed recreation sites.
  • Using barbeque grills with briquettes, including in developed recreation sites.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
  • Operating an internal combustion engine, except on National Forest System roads, trails or within developed recreation sites.
  • Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame.
  • Using explosives.
  • Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.

Exemptions include:

  • Persons with a permit from the Forest Service specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited activity. Please note persons with a California campfire permit are not exempt from the prohibitions listed above.
  • Forest visitors with a valid California campfire permit will still be able to use pressurized liquid or gas devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) with shut-off valves in an area at least 5 feet from any flammable materials.
  • Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
  • Persons with a special use permit from the Forest Service for a recreation residence on the Mendocino National Forest are exempt from prohibition Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 while they are at their recreation residence.

Fire officials want to remind visitors to take care with firearms. Recreational shooting has caused large fires in the past.

Similar restrictions are also in effect on the neighboring lands. Because restrictions can vary by jurisdiction, visitors should contact the area they plan to visit for specific fire restrictions and conditions.

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