Citing increased risks with rising temperatures, Forest Service officials announced that fire restrictions in the Eldorado National Forest will be extended to the entire forest beginning today.
Wood fires and charcoal barbecues will be restricted to designated recreation sites, and other fire-related activities will be prohibited until there are significant changes in forest and weather conditions, according to a Forest Service news release.
"The predicted hot temperatures will dry the vegetation in the forest out quickly," Jay Kurth, fire management officer, said in a written statement. "Visitors should also know that all types of fireworks are illegal in the National Forest."
Activities that will be prohibited beginning today through the end of the 2013 fire season include:
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, except within the stoves and fire rings in designated recreation sites.
Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
Exemptions from the order include:
Individuals with a permit from the Forest Service specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited acts.
Individuals with a special use permit from the Forest Service for a recreation residence in a recreation residence tract. They may build, maintain, attend or use an elevated charcoal or propane grill for cooking at the residence, provided they have a valid California campfire permit and comply with the terms of the permit.
For more information on recreation opportunities, route closures and fire restrictions in the Eldorado National Forest, see the website at www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado.
Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.