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Fire risk prompts campfire restrictions in Eldorado National Forest

Fire risks have prompted Eldorado National Forest officials to restrict campfires in the forest beginning Friday.

The restrictions limit wood and charcoal fires to designated recreation sites and prohibit other fire-related activities until the end of the fire season, according to a U.S. Forest Service news release. Gas and propane fires are allowed with a free 2017 California campfire permit.

“While I am always cautious about imposing restrictions on forest visitors, I believe the fire risk situation in the forest and in California has reached a point that restricting campfires to campgrounds is appropriate,” said forest supervisor Laurence Crabtree in a written statement.

He urged people visiting the forest to help educate others about the fire danger and to report abandoned or illegal fires to the nearest ranger station or by calling 911.

The fire restrictions mean:

  • No wood or charcoal fires are allowed outside of exempted recreation sites, even with a valid campfire permit.
  • No smoking is allowed, except within an enclosed vehicle, building or exempted recreation site.
  • Operating a welding torch or other torch with an open flame is prohibited.
  • Operating an internal combustion engine without a properly operating spark arrestor is prohibited.
  • Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, kerosene, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed with a valid campfire permit. Permits are available online, at http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit, or from Forest Service offices during normal business hours.
  • People with valid 2017 wood cutting permits may cut firewood as long as they comply with the terms of their permit.

Details regarding the 2017 fire restrictions, including a list of designated recreation sites, are available on the Eldorado National Forest website, www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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