BLM initiates Whitewater Canyon closure due to increased wildfire risk


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office

Media Contact:

A dry field with steep, rocky hills in the back ground. Photo by Steve Razo/BLM.PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management is temporarily closing public lands in and near Whitewater Canyon, Riverside County, due to the potential threat of wildfire. This public safety closure will start Monday, July 1, and will remain in effect until further notice.

“The National Interagency Fire Center's Predictive Services show above normal potential for significant wildland fires in the area with warmer than average temperatures and dry conditions,” said Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office Manager Doug Herrema. “A wildfire in an area with one-way public egress could cause significant risk to Whitewater Canyon residents and visitors.”

Approximately 4,000 acres of BLM-managed public lands are affected by this closure. A copy of the fire order and a map of the Whitewater Canyon fire closure area will be posted at the entrance to Whitewater Canyon and are both available on BLM’s website.

The public is reminded that it is illegal to enter and be upon public lands that are described and identified as the “Fire Closure Area.” Violation of this order is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 12 months, or both.

Visitors using Whitewater Canyon Road as a means of accessing the Whitewater Preserve are not affected by this closure. Other uses of the canyon are exempt from the closure as specified in the order.

For more information, contact the BLM California Desert District Office, 951-697-5200, or the BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office, 760- 833-7100.

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.