Dry weather leads to fire restrictions on region’s BLM-managed lands

Citing the unusually dry winter, the Bureau of Land Management announced it will implement fire restrictions on public lands the agency manages in El Dorado, Amador, Sacramento, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties.

The restrictions begin Friday and will remain in effect until further notice, according to a bureau news release. The restrictions apply to lands managed by the BLM’s Mother Lode Field Office.

Jerry Martinez, fire management officer, said the restrictions are needed because of the unseasonably dry vegetation and fire danger throughout Central California. “A wildfire under these conditions could pose a serious threat to public land visitors and resources, and adjacent private lands and communities,” he said in a written statement.

Under the restrictions, campfires and barbecues are limited to designated fire rings in designated campgrounds. Portable stoves with gas, jellied petroleum or pressured liquid fuel are authorized with a valid California campfire permit, but the people are asked to be extremely careful when using them, and to carry a shovel and water at all times.

Other restrictions prohibit:

• Operation of tools powered by internal combustion engines off established roads or trails.

• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or at a designated developed recreation site, or other designated areas.

• Motorized vehicles off established roads or trails.

• Shooting using incendiary, tracer, steel core or armor piercing ammunition.

• Fireworks, including the “safe and sane” variety.

The BLM advises homeowners to keep 100 feet of clean, open space around their homes to provide defensible space and improve the chances of saving their homes and families in a wildfire.

For more information on the restrictions, call the Bureau of Land Management’s Mother Lode Field Office at (916) 941-3101.