Citing dry vegetation and the heightened fire danger, Eldorado National Forest officials announced that campfires will be restricted to campgrounds beginning Thursday.
Wood and charcoal fires will be allowed only within designated recreation sites and other fire-related activities will be prohibited until the end of the fire season, according to a U.S. Forest Service news release.
Gas or propane fires are allowed with a free 2016 California campfire permit.
Officials also announced that a new phone information line has been established to handle questions about fire activity during the fire season: 530-957-0488.
Under the fire restrictions:
- No wood or charcoal fires are allowed outside of exempted recreation sites, even with a valid campfire permit.
- Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed with a valid California campfire permit, available online at www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit or from Forest Service offices during normal business hours.
- No smoking is allowed, except within an enclosed vehicle, building or exempted recreation site.
- Operating a welding or other torch with an open flame is prohibited.
- Operating an internal combustion engine without a properly operating spark arrester is prohibited.
- People with a valid 2016 wood cutting permit must obey fire restrictions and comply with the terms of their permit when cutting firewood.
Forest Service officials also remind visitors that motor vehicles can be a fire ignition source and are allowed only on National Forest System roads, routes, trails and areas identified on the Eldorado National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map. The map is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/enf/maps, or free of charge at any Eldorado National Forest office.