Fire restrictions now in place

Register File Photo
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Effective midnight on Sunday, June 28, the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office and the Inyo National Forest are implementing fire restrictions. 
The restrictions are in effect on all BLM public lands managed by the Bishop Field Office and all Inyo National Forest lands. 
“Ongoing drought conditions and well below average rain and snowfall this past winter have led to very dry conditions for this time of year,” said Inyo National Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta. “These conditions can create an active fire season here in the Eastern Sierra.” 
Beginning June 29th, and until further notice, the following restrictions will be in effect:
• NO CAMPFIRES, briquette barbeques, or stove fires are allowed outside of designated developed recreation sites and specifically posted campsites or areas.  A list of designated campgrounds and recreation sites is available at local Ranger Stations and Visitor Centers, and on the Inyo National Forest website,
Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit (available free of charge at any Ranger Station or Visitor Center) are not exempt from the prohibitions but are allowed to use portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.
• NO FIREWORKS.  It is prohibited to possess or discharge any fireworks.
• NO SMOKING, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
• NO WELDING or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.
• NO USE OF EXPLOSIVES, except by permit.
Inyo National Forest wilderness areas which are exempt from this order are Hoover, John Muir, Ansel Adams, Boundary Peak, White Mountains, Golden Trout, and South Sierra.  Resorts, pack stations, recreation residences and other sites operated under special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service or BLM may be exempt from the special orders, as long as any fire activity is conducted in compliance with their permit.  Special use permit holders should contact their permit administrator to make sure they are on the list of exempt sites, or check the information for special use permit exemptions on the Inyo National Forest Website,
Armenta and Steve Nelson, BLM Bishop field manager, urge the public’s cooperation in helping to prevent wildfires in this year of very high fire danger, and they remind both residents and visitors that fireworks, even “Safe and Sane” are not allowed at any time on public lands.  
For further information, call Mike Beasley at (760) 873-2507 or the Owens Valley Interagency Communications Center (OVICC) at (760) 873-2405.