Fire Restrictions Going Into Effect for the California Desert Areas
As of May 15, 2012 the Bureau of Land Management has issued fire restrictions on public lands in the California desert, including requiring permits for campfires and barbecues.
Above-normal rainfall this winter and spring has produced prolific growth of desert vegetation, including highly flammable invasive grasses.
"Historically, these conditions have fueled very large wild fires," said Teri Raml, BLM Desert District Manager. "These fire restrictions are needed to reduce the wildfire threat to private property and the fragile desert ecosystem."
Effective May 15, 2012 all campfires and barbecues are prohibited on BLM-managed lands within Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties close to urban areas, even within camp sites. Portable stoves with gas, jellied petroleum or pressured liquid fuel are authorized with a valid California campfire permit, but the public is asked to be extremely careful with their use and to carry a shovel and water with them at all times.
On all other BLM land in the California Desert District, campfires and barbecues are allowed, but only with permits. This includes all BLM-managed lands east of Highways 395 and 14, north of Highways 138 and 18, as well as east of Highways 247, 62, 111, and 86. In San Diego County, the restrictions are in effect south of Highway 78 and east of County Road S-2 and Interstate 8 to the Mexican border.
Permits are available through the CDD office, all BLM field offices, fire/ranger stations, and from all BLM patrol personnel. Anyone convicted of violating a fire prevention order can be fined up to $1,000, receive up to 12 months in jail, or both, and may be liable for the cost of damages and suppression of a wildfire that may have resulted from the unauthorized campfire or barbeque.
For more information, or to obtain a permit
, contact the BLM’s CDD office at (951) 697-5200, our local field offices in Barstow, (760) 252-6000; El Centro, (760) 337-4400; Needles, (760) 326-7000; Palm Springs-South Coast, (760) 833-7100; or Ridgecrest, (760) 384-5400.
Order Number CA-060-2012-01
Fire Prevention Orders (includes map)
Bureau of Land Management
California Desert District
It is the policy of the Bureau of Land Management to take all necessary actions to protect human life, the public lands and the resources and improvements thereon through the prevention of wildfires. Wherever possible, the Bureau of Land Management will comply with 43 CFR 9212.2 requiring the BLM to establish fire prevention orders to assist with wildland fire prevention. These efforts will also compliment and support state and local wildfire prevention efforts throughout the geographical area. This geographical area consists of public lands within the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) and public lands outside the CDCA in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego Counties.
Under the authority of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et. Seq.) and pursuant to 43 CFR 9212.2, the following fire prevention orders are issued:
Year-round Fire Restrictions
These restrictions shall apply to all public lands within the California Desert District regardless of stage restrictions and are applicable year round. These prohibitions are in addition to the general prohibitions in Title 43 CFR 9212.1 They include:
The use or possession of fireworks, including “safe and sane” is hereby prohibited on all public lands of the California Desert District.
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Firearms and Ammunition
The possession or discharge of a firearm using incendiary, tracer, steel core, or armor piercing ammunition is hereby prohibited on all public lands of the California Desert District.
No person shall burn, ignite or cause to burn any tire, petroleum product, wires, magnesium, or any other hazardous or explosive materials.
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All off-road vehicles being operated on public lands must be equipped with a properly installed spark arrester pursuant to 43 CFR 8343.1 (C) and California Vehicle Code 38366(a). The spark arrester must meet either the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Forest service Standard 5100-1a, or the 80% efficiency level standard determined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAEs) recommended practices J335 or J350.
A. End of fire season (generally October but may be extended due to extreme fire danger) to May 15 – generally campfires and barbecues are allowed on all public lands of the California Desert District without a permit subject to proper clearance of flammable fuels to a minimum of five feet and having shovel or extinguishing tools handy.
B. May 15 to end of fire season – All public lands within the California Desert District will be considered to be in Stage I restrictions (see C. below). Some areas that may be experiencing extreme fire danger may be placed into Stage II restrictions.
C. Stage Restriction Definitions:
1. Stage I Restriction – Campfires, barbecues and gas stoves are allowed with a permit. All public lands within the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) shall be in Stage I restrictions. Please check with individual local field offices for further information on restrictions.
2. Stage II Restriction – Setting, building, maintaining, attending, or using open fire of any kind, except campfires within approved fire pits and grills provided for in developed recreation sites, is prohibited. Controlled flame devices such as portable stoves fueled by petroleum or LPG products are allowed by permit.
3. Stage III – Setting, building, maintaining, attending, or using open fire of any kind is prohibited throughout the California Desert District. Controlled flame devices such as portable stoves fueled by petroleum or LPG products are allowed only by permit. Smoking is only permitted within enclosed vehicles or camp trailers.
Stage I areas may be elevated to Stage II during periods of extreme fire danger.
Title 43 CFR 9212.4 provides that any person who knowingly and willfully violates the regulations of 9212.1 of this title shall upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment of not more than 12 months or both.
These prohibitions are in addition to the general prohibitions in Title 43 CFR 9212.1.