News Release

For Release:  July 4, 2008                                                                   
Contact:  Stephen Razo 951-697-5217; email: srazo@ca.blm.gov
CA-CDD-08-58

BLM Initiates Emergency Route Closures in Ridgecrest Resource Area

 
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Ridgecrest Field Office, has initiated a closure order of certain routes of travel within the Bright Star Wilderness and Kelso Valley area. The closure order, pursuant to Title 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 8364.1 (Closure and Restriction Orders) is necessary for the protection of persons, property, public lands, and resources.
 
A fire which began on June 28 in the Piute Mountains, Sequoia National Park, is now threatening public lands managed by the BLM within the Bright Star Wilderness and Kelso Valley area.
 
For public safety, all routes of travel, west of the Pacific Crest Trail, are closed to off highway vehicles (OHV).  More specifically designated routes:  SC123, SC120, SC111, SC102, SC47, SC36, SC37, SC49, SC48, SC28, and SC50 are closed until further notice (see available map).  This closure is issued to provide for firefighter and public safety by restricting OHV recreational access into an area that may be congested with firefighting equipment, used, for safety zones, and staging firefighting equipment and personnel.
 
This closure is effective July 4, 2008, and  shall remain in effect until rescinded or modified by the authorized officer.
 
Maps showing the affected area are available for review at the following locations:  BLM  Ridgecrest Field Office, 300 S. Richmond Rd, Ridgecrest, CA 93555; the Jawbone OHV Visitor Station, 28111 Jawbone Canyon Rd., at Highway 14, Cantil, CA 93518; as well as posted at the Piute Fire Incident Command Post, Kernville High School.
 
The affected areas will be subject to the following use restrictions:

1) Unless otherwise authorized, no person shall operate a motorized vehicle in the described restricted area. 

2) Persons who are exempt from the restriction include:

a. Any federal, state or local officers engaged in fire, emergency, or law enforcement activities;

b.  BLM employees, contractors, or agents engaged in official duties;

c.  Individuals operating within the scope of their official and legitimate governmental duties; and

d.  Additional persons may be allowed, but must have advanced written approval from the BLM authorized officer, Ridgecrest Field Office.

Violation of any regulations in this part by a member of the public is punishable by a fine not to exceed $1000.00 and/or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months.
 
For further information contact: BLM Ridgecrest Field Office, 300 S. Richmond Rd, Ridgecrest, CA 93555.  (760) 384-5400.

-BLM-

California Desert District Office – 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553- (951) 697-5217