News Release

For Release:  July 3, 2008
Contact:  Nancy Upham 760-873-2427

Fire Restrictions Go Into Effect on Inyo National Forest and BLM Bishop Field Office Public Lands

In response to the increasing fire danger and fires already raging in California, Inyo National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch and field manager for the BLM Bishop Field Office, Bill Dunkelberger, both signed fire restriction orders that have gone into effect immediately.  The restrictions are in effect below 9,000 feet in elevation on all Inyo National Forest lands, including wilderness areas, and all Bureau of Land Management public lands managed by the Bishop Field Office.  Campfires, briquette barbeques, smoking, and use of acetylene or other torches and any kind of explosives, are now  restricted due to increased fire danger brought on by hot, dry weather and extremely dry conditions.

This year is exceptionally dry and fire season has started early.  Both Upchurch and Dunkelberger felt compelled to implement the restrictions immediatley to hopefully prevent any human-caused fires during this summer season.  These restrictions are similar to those being implemented throughout the west due to the high fire danger and continued hot and dry weather patterns.  In addition fire fighting forces and equipment are spread thin due to the number of wildfires currently burning. 

Effective immediately, and until further notice, the following restrictions are in effect by special order:

• NO CAMPFIRES, briquette barbeques, or stove fires are allowed outside of designated developed recreation sites and specifically posted campsites or areas.  A list of designated campgrounds and recreation sites is available at local Ranger Stations and Visitor Centers, and on the Inyo National Forest Website,  

Persons with a valid California campfire permit (available free of charge at any ranger station or visitor center) are not exempt from the prohibitions but are allowed to use portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.

• NO SMOKING except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

• NO WELDING, or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.

• NO USE OF EXPLOSIVES, except by permit.

Resorts, pack stations, recreation residences and other sites operated under special use permit from the Forest Service or BLM may be exempt from the special orders, as long as any fire activity is conducted in compliance with their permit.  Special use permit holders should contact their permit administrator to make sure they are on the list of exempt sites, or check the information for special use permit exemptions on the Inyo National Forest Website,

Jim Upchurch and Bill Dunkelberger urge the public’s cooperation in helping to prevent wildfires in this year of high fire danger, and they also remind both residents and visitors that fireworks, even "safe and sane" are not allowed at any time on public lands. 

For further information, please call Debra Hein at (760) 872-5057 or Nancy Upham at (760) 873-2427.

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