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News Release

For Release:  May 15, 2008                                                               
Contact:  Stephen Razo 951-697-5217; email: srazo@ca.blm.gov

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). 
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.
Stage I areas may be elevated to Stage II during periods of extreme fire danger. Stage II Restrictions state that 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.
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."
The public is also reminded of the following restrictions that apply to all public lands within the California Desert District regardless of stage restrictions and are applicable year round.  

1) The use or possession of fireworks, including “safe and sane” is prohibited on all public lands of the California Desert District;
2) the possession or discharge of a firearm using incendiary, tracer, steel core, or armor piercing ammunition is prohibited on all public lands of the California Desert District;
3) No person shall burn, ignite or cause to burn any tire, petroleum product, wires, magnesium, or any other hazardous or explosive materials;
4) 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.   

These prohibitions are in addition to the general prohibitions in Title 43 CFR 9212.1.
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, CA 92553- (951) 697-5217

Last updated: 05-15-2008