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California Desert District
Release Date: 05/17/10
Contacts: David Briery , (951) 697-5220  
  Stephen Razo , (951) 697-5217  
News Release No. CA-CDD-10-70

BLM Sets Restrictions for Campfires and Barbeques in California Desert Due to Rising Fire Danger

Due to the danger of wildfires, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is requiring permits for campfires and barbeques on public lands in the California Desert. On other BLM public lands in Southern California, all campfires and barbeques are prohibited outside of developed recreation areas.

Teri Raml, BLM Desert District Manager, said the restrictions are necessary due to rising seasonal temperatures combined with dry vegetation.  "Above normal rainfall this spring treated us all to a spectacular bloom of wildflowers in the California Desert," she said.  "Unfortunately that moisture and vegetative growth has dried out and increased our fire danger, requiring us to limit the use of campfires, barbeques, or portable stoves, or to require a permit.  With everyone's cooperation, we can prevent the large wildfires that we have experienced over the years in this region. Reducing the threat to private property and the fragile desert ecosystem is of the utmost importance." 

Raml said the restrictions are officially referred to as Stage I covering BLM managed areas, and Stage II, covering “State Responsibility Areas” (SRA). 

While Stage I Fire Restrictions apply to BLM lands in the California Desert, Stage II Fire Restrictions apply to SRA in Kern, Inyo, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties. (Please refer to Fire Restriction Map on the CDD website:

Stage I restrictions allow campfires and barbecues with a permit that can be obtained at all BLM field offices and fire/ranger stations, or from patrol personnel.  Stage II prohibits campfire and barbecues outside developed recreation sites. Controlled flame devices such as portable stoves are allowed by permit.

Raml warned that while the BLM appreciates the public's cooperation, non-compliance results in serious penalties by law.  Any person convicted of knowingly/willfully violating these fire restrictions can be fined up to $1,000, receive up to 12 months imprisonment, or both.  That person also is liable for the damages and suppression cost of the wildfire.

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) 833-7100 or Ridgecrest (760) 384-5400.


California Desert District   22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos      Moreno Valley, CA 92553  

Last updated: 05-17-2010