If you’re still willing to camp during these cold and long autumn nights, then I have some welcome news for you: fire restrictions are being lifted on the national forests in many parts of the state, so you can enjoy a cozy and warming campfire after a brisk hike. I know for sure that the campfire restrictions have been lifted in the Klamath National Forest and Lassen National Forest. The torrential rains we had in Siskiyou County and elsewhere in California will likely lead most others to follow suit. Keep in mind that campers and backpackers must have a California campfire permit and follow all regulations, but fortunately the danger of wildfires to hikers is past, at least until next year.
Here’s the 2009 press release from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest lifting fire restrictions:
Shasta-Trinity National Forest to Lift Campfire Restrictions
REDDING, Calif. (October 13, 2009) – At midnight Oct. 13, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest will lift fire restrictions that were in place during the summer. Beginning Oct. 14, forest visitors may have open campfires outside of developed campgrounds, providing they are in possession of a valid California Campfire Permit and apply appropriate safety measures.
“The cooler fall temperatures, longer nights and higher humidity, combined with this week’s rain, have reduced the threat of extreme fire danger experienced during this year’s hot and dry summer,” said Forest Supervisor Sharon Heywood.
Heywood cautions forest visitors to continue to be careful with campfires as the forest vegetation remains relatively dry in many areas. Historically, the forest has experienced wildfire events as a result of campfires not having been completely extinguished.
California Campfire Permits can be obtained prior to visiting the forest. These permits are available to visitors at no charge from any National Forest, Bureau of Land Management or CAL FIRE office.
Terms of the California Campfire Permit include:
- Clear all flammable material away from the fire for a minimum of five feet in all directions to prevent escape of the fire.
- Have a shovel available at the campfire site for preparing and extinguishing campfires.
- Have a responsible person in attendance at all times.
- Extinguish campfire with water, using the “drown, stir and feel” method.
Additionally, keep in mind that:
- On private land you must have written permission from the landowner for campfire use.
- Many high-country areas prohibit wood fires to protect scarce vegetation. Check with your local Ranger station for restrictions that may apply.
- If you smoke outside a vehicle, be sure you do so within a cleared area at least three feet in diameter.
Burn Restrictions remain in effect for many areas served by CAL FIRE. Check with your local CAL FIRE office for more information.
For more information, contact Fuels Management/Fire Prevention Officer Julie Titus at (530) 926-9666.
Courtesy National Park Service