News Release

For Release:June 20, 2007
Contact: Jeff Fontana, BLM (530) 252-5332 or Leona Rodreick, LNF, (530) 252-6605   

Fire Officials Stress Caution for July Fourth Holiday

Possession and Use of Fireworks Illegal on Public Lands and National Forests

Northeast California fire officials are reminding area residents and visitors to be careful with fire and fireworks when they celebrate Independence Day.

“Conditions are very dry for this early in the summer.  People need to be extremely careful when camping, driving in the back country and cutting fire wood,” said Jim Hedges, a co-manager of the Susanville Interagency Fire Center.

Hedges stressed that possession and use of all fireworks – including those approved by the State of California – are illegal in national forests, national parks and on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.  County and city governments have various regulations regarding fireworks, and holiday revelers should be familiar with local laws before purchasing or using the devices.

Those planning camping trips should also follow basic fire safety tips:

 Keep campfires small, and completely extinguish them before leaving camp.  The best method is to douse the fire with water, stir the ashes and douse again, making sure that all ashes are cold to the touch.

 Charcoal should be soaked in water after use.

 Smokers should light up only in areas cleared of all flammable debris.  Cigarette butts should never be thrown from car windows.

Those exploring the forests and back country in vehicles should stay on established roads and trails, and avoid driving over dry brush and grass that could be ignited by hot exhaust systems.

Firewood cutters should operate chainsaws only in the cool morning hours, and keep a shovel and fire extinguisher nearby.  Chainsaws must be equipped with spark arresters.

Information on current fire dangers is available from any office of the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, or CAL FIRE.    Local fire departments also have information on fire dangers and restrictions, and local fireworks regulations.

Susanville Interagency Fire Center Command Center     Fifth and Cedar Streets     Susanville, CA  96130