Release Number: WFO-2005-36
For Release: July 15, 2005
Fire Restrictions BEGIN FOR NORTHERN AND CENTRAL NEVADA
Due to high to extreme fire conditions and a significant build-up of fine fuels following a cool, wet spring in Northern and Central Nevada, and in accordance with federal and State statutes to protect public health, well-being and safety, fire restrictions on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management's Winnemucca, Battle Mountain and Elko Field Offices, by the US Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest's Austin, Santa Rosa, Tonopah, Mountain City, Jarbidge, and Ruby Mountains Ranger Districts, the US Fish & Wildlife Service Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and by BIA Eastern Nevada Agency and Shoshone-Paiute Duck Valley Tribe within the Humboldt, Pershing, Lander, Eureka, Elko, Esmeralda, and Nye County Fire Protection Districts and portions of Washoe, Lyon, Churchill, and White Pine Counties, will become effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 22, 2005 (see attached map). At the same time, a campfire permit system will go into effect, which will authorize visitors to the public lands in BLM’s Winnemucca District and the Forest Service’s Santa Rosa Ranger District to use campfires in specified locations where fire danger is lower than the surrounding area (described in detail following the fire restriction information).
Fire restrictions apply as follows:
BLM – To all areas, roads and trails on BLM Winnemucca, Battle Mountain and Elko Field Office lands except in BLM developed recreation sites, or in constructed steel fire rings and grates, or in accordance with a valid campfire permit in possession. [Exception: open fires are authorized on desert playas (dry lake beds) more than 300 feet from the nearest vegetation only within the BLM Winnemucca Field Office.]
Forest Service – To all areas, roads and trails outside of the developed recreation sites on the Austin, Santa Rosa, Tonopah, Mountain City, Jarbidge, and Ruby Mountains Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Fireworks – Use of fireworks is prohibited on public lands. [Exception: use of fireworks in accordance with a valid permit issued by the applicable county is authorized on desert playas (dry lake beds) more than 300 feet from the nearest vegetation only within the BLM Winnemucca Field Office.]
Restrictions: Except as noted above, pursuant to 43 CFR 9212.2, 36 CFR 261.50(a)(b), the following acts will be prohibited on all public land areas, roads and trails located within and administered by the BLM-Nevada Winnemucca, Battle Mountain and Elko Field Offices and by the US Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Austin, Santa Rosa, Tonopah, Mountain City, Jarbidge, and Ruby Mountains Ranger Districts until further notice:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using fire, campfire, or stove fuel, except a portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel, outside of a developed recreation site/campground.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
- Welding, or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.
- Using, or causing to be used, any explosive, except by permit.
- Using fireworks or firing a tracer or other incendiary device.
- Using steel-jacketed firearms ammunition.
The BLM and Forest Service strongly encourage all visitors to the Public Lands and Forest Service Lands to carry a shovel, one-to-five gallons of water, and a fire extinguisher.
(Pursuant to 43 CFR 9212.2 the following persons are exempt from this order)
- Persons with a valid permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
- Any federal, State or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
- (NDF-specific) Owners of undeveloped private property or using the property with the property owner’s permission for the purpose of recreation so long as the use does not create a threat to surrounding property.
(Pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50(e) the following persons are exempt from this order)
- Portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel.
- Developed recreation sites.
Penalties for Violations: Title CFR 9212.4 provides that any person who knowingly and willfully performs any act restricted by the Fire Prevention Orders, is punishable by imprisonment of not more than 12 months or a fine in accordance with the applicable provisions of 18 USC 3571, or both (agency statutes vary).
The area affected by the restrictions includes all federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management's Winnemucca, Battle Mountain and Elko Field Offices and by the US Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest's Austin, Santa Rosa, Tonopah, Mountain City, Jarbidge, and Ruby Mountains Ranger Districts, US Fish & Wildlife Service Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and by BIA Eastern Nevada Agency and Shoshone-Paiute Duck Valley Tribe, within the Humboldt, Pershing, Lander, Eureka, Elko, Esmeralda and Nye County Fire Protection Districts and portions of Washoe, Lyon, Churchill, and White Pine Counties. Other areas currently enforcing fire restrictions include the BLM's Carson City and Las Vegas Field Offices and contiguous Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
BLM’s Ely District, Eagle Lake District (Susanville, California and adjacent NW Nevada) and Surprise District (Cedarville, California and adjacent NW Nevada) and the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Ely Ranger District are not currently in fire restrictions.
Campfire Permit System:
An interagency program to issue permits for wood and charcoal fires on the BLM Winnemucca District and the Forest Service Santa Rosa Ranger District will begin its third year when fire restrictions go into effect July 22nd. Visitors to these two districts holding a valid campfire permit can use wood or charcoal fires in specified areas where weather and vegetation conditions are favorable when fire restrictions are in effect over the general surrounding area. Dates and locations where permits will be issued will vary from week to week depending upon local conditions.
The campfire permit system exists only for the BLM Winnemucca District and the Forest Service Santa Rosa Ranger District. The remainder of Nevada is not issuing campfire permits this year. The permit system covers 8 1/2 million acres in all of Humboldt and Pershing Counties and parts of Washoe, Churchill, and Lyon Counties.
This free permit is available at the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management offices in Winnemucca, Nevada during business hours or can be mailed or faxed following a telephone request. Each agency issues permits for its respective areas of responsibility. Permits will be issued at the following locations:
- BLM Winnemucca Field Office, 5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca NV 89445 (775) 623-1500
- Forest Service Santa Rosa Ranger District Office, 1200 E. Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445 (775) 635-4000
Persons requesting permits will need to provide their names and the camping dates and locations desired. People should be aware that conditions may not allow issuance of a campfire permit in the places and times of their first choice. The permit is for a campfire only; it does not provide the holder with exclusive use to the location identified on the permit. Dispersed recreation on public lands is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The permit requires that a shovel and water be available at the campfire site, and that a responsible person be in attendance at the fire at all times until it is extinguished and cold to the touch.
Extreme fire danger is expected for northern and central Nevada this season. As BLM Winnemucca Fire Management Officer Jeff Fedrizzi noted, “The extraordinary buildup of cheat grass and other fine fuels caused by the moisture we received this past winter and spring has increased the risk of wildfires and raised concern among local fire officials, but we would still like to accommodate the public's desire to recreate on public lands when and where we can by issuing campfire permits in appropriate locations.”
For more information on fire restrictions, please contact either:
BLM-Nevada, Winnemucca Field Office at (775) 623-1500, the Battle Mountain Field Office at (775) 635-4000, or the Tonopah Field Station at (775) 482-7800, or the Elko Field Office at (775) 753-0200; or USFS-Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Forest Supervisor’s Office at (775) 331-6444, or Santa Rosa Ranger District at (775) 623-5025, or Austin Ranger District at (775) 964-2671, Tonopah Ranger District at (775) 482-6286, Mountain City Ranger District (775) 738-5171, Jarbidge Ranger District (775) 752-3357, or Ruby Mountains Ranger District (775) 752-3357; or Nevada Division of Forestry-State Office (775) 684-2512, or Northern Division at (775) 738-3454; US Fish & Wildlife Service Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge (775) 779-2237.
Helpful web sites:
http://www.fire.blm.gov/restrictions.htm, http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/, http://www.forestry.state.nv.us/, and www.nifc.gov, http://gacc.nifc.gov/wgbc/.
The campfire permit program was initiated in response to suggestions received from the public in past years. Further comments and suggestions on how to improve the permit system would be welcomed by the BLM and the US Forest Service.
- BLM -