The BLM Central Coast Field Office lifts seasonal fire restrictions
Vehicle access remains restricted at the Panoche Hills Special Recreation Area
MARINA, Calif. — The Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office is lifting its seasonal fire restrictions on December 4 for approximately 300,000 acres of public land due to reduced wildland fire potential. The easing of seasonal fire restrictions applies to public lands in Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus counties. Recreational target shooting and campfires will once again be allowed on public lands with a valid campfire permit, unless otherwise posted. The rescinded fire order can be viewed at the BLM website.
Motorized access is still restricted at the Panoche Hills Special Recreation Management Area in Fresno and San Benito counties. While allowing recreational activities by non-motorized access, the continued road restriction is required to protect the endangered blunt nosed leopard lizards as they are released into restored habitat, prevent destruction of plant and wildlife habitat, and protect and preserve ongoing scientific studies. Please review the closure order that restricts vehicle access at the Panoche Hills Special Recreation Management Area.
“Public land visitors can again use campfires outside of developed campgrounds and posted recreation sites,” said Central Coast Field Manager Zachary Ormsby. “However, we want to remain vigilant, and all do our part to prevent wildfires and promote ongoing scientific restoration efforts.”
Visitors are responsible for recreating in a safe manner, and must avoid damaging natural resources, signs, or facilities. Shooting is strictly prohibited in developed recreation sites and other areas where posted. Visitors are encouraged to check weather conditions for Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches to avoid shooting in hot, dry and windy conditions. Recreational target shooters are required to pack out all spent shells, brass, and targets. More information on safe recreational target shooting is available on the BLM website.
The public is reminded to remain cautious and practice good fire safety to help prevent wildland fires when recreating on public lands. Good fire-prevention safety tips include keeping vehicles off dry grass or brush; carrying a fire extinguisher, shovel, and water; and getting a permit for any campfire or use of portable gas stoves. California campfire permits are available free online or at the BLM, U.S. Forest Service and CAL FIRE offices. Individuals who spark wildfires, intentionally or unintentionally, can be held responsible for fire suppression and repair costs.
For more information on preventing wildfires and additional tips for keeping campfires and target shooting safe, visit ReadyForWildfire.org or call the Central Coast Field Office at 831-582-2200. The field office can also provide additional information on public lands available for target shooting.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.