Release Number: WFO 2004-35
For Release: June 28, 2004
Fire Restrictions AND CAMPFire PERMIT SYSTEM BEGIN FOR NORTH-CENTRAL NEVADA
Due to high to extreme fire conditions in north-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 and Battle Mountain Field Offices and by the US Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest's Austin, Santa Rosa and Tonopah Ranger Districts within the Humboldt and Pershing County Fire Protection Districts and portions of Washoe, Lyon, Churchill, Lander, Eureka, Nye and Esmeralda Counties, will become effective at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 1, 2004 (see attached map). At the same time, a campfire permit system will go into effect, which will authorize visitors to the public lands in north-central Nevada 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 and Battle Mountain 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; and only on BLM Winnemucca Field Office Lands more than 300 feet from the nearest vegetation on desert playas (dry lake beds).
Forest Service – To all areas, roads and trails outside of the developed recreation sites on the Austin, Santa Rosa and Tonopah Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, or in accordance with a valid campfire permit in possession.
Fireworks – Use of fireworks is prohibited on public lands except on BLM Winnemucca Field Office administered desert playas (dry lake beds) more than 300 feet from the nearest vegetation and in accordance with a valid permit issued by the applicable county.
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 and Battle Mountain Field Offices and by the US Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Austin, Santa Rosa and Tonopah Ranger Districts until further notice:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Welding, or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.
4. Using, or causing to be used, any explosive, except by permit.
5. Using fireworks or firing a tracer or other incendiary device.
The BLM and Forest Service strongly encourage all visitors to the Public Lands and Forest Service Lands to carry an axe, shovel, one-to-five gallons of water, and a fire extinguisher.
Exemptions: Pursuant to 43 CFR 9212.2 the following persons are exempt from this order:
1. Persons with a valid permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
2. Any Federal, state or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
3. (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.
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 and Battle Mountain Field Offices and by the US Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest's Austin, Santa Rosa and Tonopah Ranger Districts within the Humboldt and Pershing County Fire Protection Districts and portions of Washoe, Lyon, Churchill, Lander, Eureka, Nye, and Esmeralda Counties, excluding Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs lands. Other currently enforcing fire restrictions include the BLM's Carson City and Las Vegas Field Offices and the Eagle Lake District (Susanville, California and adjacent NW Nevada) and contiguous Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Campfire Permit System:
An interagency program to issue permits for wood and charcoal fires on north-central Nevada public lands will begin its second year when fire restrictions go into effect July 1st. Visitors to the public lands in north-central Nevada 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 north-central Nevada. The remainder of Nevada does not issue campfire permits when fire restrictions are in effect. The permit system covers 25 million acres, which includes the Winnemucca and Battle Mountain Districts of the BLM, and the Austin, Santa Rosa and Tonopah Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest,” said Jose Noriega, US Forest Service Santa Rosa District Ranger.
This free permit is available at US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management offices during business hours or by mail. Agencies are issuing permits for their respective areas of responsibility: BLM district offices will issue permits for the areas under their administration and Forest Service district offices will issue permits for the areas under their administration. Permits will be issued by the following offices:
Winnemucca: BLM Field Office and Forest Service Santa Rosa District Office;
Battle Mountain: BLM Battle Mountain Field Office;
Austin: Forest Service Austin Ranger District Office;
Tonopah: BLM Tonopah Field Station and Forest Service Tonopah District Office.
Gerlach: BLM Visitor Contact Trailer (open on holiday weekends only).
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, “Continuing drought conditions are increasing the risk of wildfires and causing concern among local fire officials, but we still hope to accommodate the public's desire to recreate on public lands as much as possible by issuing campfire permits where and when it's appropriate to do so.”
For more information, 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 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, or Tonopah Ranger District at (775) 482-6286; or Nevada Division of Forestry-State Office (775) 684-2512, or Northern Division at (775) 738-3454.
Helpful web sites:
www.nv.blm.gov/winnemucca, http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/, http://www.forestry.state.nv.us/, and www.nifc.gov, www.nv.blm.gov/wgbcc.
This 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 -