News Release    

For Release: May 11, 2007                                                                
Contact:  Stephen Razo (951) 697-5217; E-mail:

BLM Implements Stage I Fire Restrictions for the California Desert District

Rising temperatures combined with dry vegetation warrant the issuance of permits for campfires and barbecues throughout the California desert region.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today implemented Stage I fire restrictions on all BLM-managed public lands within the California Desert District (CDD). 

The 2007 seasonal fire assessment from the National Interagency Fire Center states the following prediction for the California desert region: earlier than normal start to the southern California fire season; abnormally dry fuels in the southern California due to less that 50% normal rainfall; high probability that fire activity could increase rapidly with any sudden drying and windy events, particularly in grass or brush fuel types; and fuel moistures are already at or near critical levels. Within the last two months, the desert region has already experienced several wild fires caused by dry lightning that burned significant acres.  Human-caused fires are on the rise also along major highways across the California desert.

Effective May 15, Stage I restrictions require that all campfires and barbecues are allowed with a permit that can be obtained at all BLM field offices, fire or ranger stations and patrol personnel.  Stage I general area of influence includes BLM lands north and east of the Angeles, San Bernardino and Cleveland National Forests.

All BLM-managed lands within Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties, designated as “State Responsibility Areas” (SRA) shall be in Stage II fire restriction.  These areas are the more urbanized regions south and west of the national forests.  Stage II level prohibits campfire and barbecues outside developed recreation sites. Controlled flame devices such as portable stoves are allowed by permit.

Any person convicted of knowingly or willfully violating a fire prevention order can be fined up to $1,000, receive up to 12 months in jail, or both.  That person also is liable for the cost of damages and suppression of the wildfire.

“We are asking the public’s help to prevent potentially disastrous wildfires throughout southern California,” stated Steven Borchard, BLM CDD district manager.   “BLM will be making a strong effort to get the word out about fire prevention and public safety -  we must work together.”

For more information or to obtain a permit contact the BLM’s California Desert District Office at (951) 697-5200 or local field offices in Barstow (760) 252-6000, El Centro (760) 337-4400, Needles (760) 326-7000, Palm Springs-South Coast (760) 251-4800 or Ridgecrest (760) 384-5400.


California Desert District Office – 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, California - (951) 697-5220