This 2020 file photo serves as a reminder of the need to be extra vigilant this fire season and why new forest restrictions go into effect July 1. Photo by Kevin Trutna

Stage 1 fire restrictions go into effect on the Plumas National Forest on July 1

The Plumas National Forest is entering Stage I Fire Restrictions on Friday, July 1, ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend, which impacts a number of activities on the forest. Fire danger in the area is increasing as hot, summer weather continues in the area and fuel conditions across the forest are drying.

In Stage I Fire Restrictions, campfires are only allowed in specific designated recreation sites, in established campfire rings.  Sites are listed in Exhibit A of the closure order. California Campfire Permits are free and available at Forest Service and CAL Fire offices or online at https://permit.preventwildfiresca.org/.

Smoking is only allowed within an enclosed vehicle or building, in one of the designated recreation sites listed in Exhibit A, or an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is completely clear of all flammable material.

Additionally, internal combustion engines, such as vehicles and generators, may only be used on designated roads and trails.  Boat engines are exempt.

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Chainsaw use for firewood is still permitted, but woodcutters need to ensure that they are checking the Woodcutting Status each day prior to cutting by calling 1-800-847-7766.  For the latest information on the Plumas National Forest firewood cutting program, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/plumas/passes-permits/forestproducts.

Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame is prohibited.

Possession of a valid California Campfire Permit is not an exemption from the prohibitions.  However, they can use portable campfire pits, stoves or lanterns that use gas, kerosene, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel as long as it has a working shut-off valve and is used in an area that is at least 3 feet from any flammable materials.

Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest System lands, including the Plumas National Forest.  Even sparklers and poppers can quickly ignite a wildfire.

“The Plumas National Forest has experienced tremendous impacts from wildfire over the past 5 years,” said Plumas National Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer Mitch Wilson.  “We appreciate the cooperation of area residents and visitors following the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions and helping us prevent human-caused wildfires this fire season.”

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Fire danger is still a factor, even in recently burned areas.

“We ask that anyone choosing to recreate in a recently burned area not only watch for hazards, but also be careful with anything that can spark a wildfire.  Even areas that burned at high intensity can burn again,” Wilson said.

Suspected wildfires can be reported by calling 911.

The order is formally referenced as Closure Order Number 05-11-22-01.  Violations of the prohibitions are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both.

For more information on the Plumas National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/plumas, follow the forest on Twitter @USFSPlumas or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas.