Tinder-dry vegetation, exceptional drought conditions, increasing daytime temperatures and several human-caused fires have prompted the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District Office, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Nevada Division of Forestry’s (NDF) to announce the implementation of fire restrictionson all lands under their jurisdiction in western Nevada effective Monday, June 30, at 12:01 a.m., and lasting until further notice. The Carson and Bridgeport Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (USFS) are currently in fire restrictions until further notice.
Vegetation in western Nevada and eastern California is significantly dryer for this time of year. Below average moisture this past winter and spring and warmer than average temperatures has led to the increased rate of drying the vegetation. A large crop of grass and brush is evident at lower elevations and trees and other forest vegetation at higher elevations are quickly drying out. The public is encouraged to safely enjoy the public lands, bearing in mind that human-caused fires annually threaten human life, private property and public land resources every summer.
The potential for devastating fires during the summer is very real. Report fires to the Sierra Front Interagency Fire Dispatch Center, Minden, Nevada, 775-883-5995, or dial 911.
Fire Restrictions Prohibit:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire (using wood, charcoal or any other material), campfire, or stove fire except a portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel, outside of a developed fee campground or picnic area (except by permit).
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or at a developed campground or picnic area.
- Operating vehicles or other motorized equipment off of existing paved, gravel or dirt roads.
- Welding, or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.
- Using or causing to be used, any explosive, except by permit.
- Possession or use of fireworks (always prohibited), or any other incendiary device.
- Use of tracer rounds, steel-core ammunition or exploding targets including Binary Explosive Targets while recreational shooting.
In addition, the NDF prohibits operating vehicles or equipment traveling on or using wildland areas without at least an axe, shovel and one gallon of water. The BLM, BIA and USFWS require that all motor vehicles must be equipped with an operational spark arrester pursuant to 43 CFR 8343.1(c). All agencies recommend that individuals carry cell phones while in the wildlands or national forests to report wildfires.
BLM -all areas, roads and trails on the BLM-Carson City District outside of developed recreation sites with the exception of Sand Mountain Recreation Area, and the portion of the Walker Lake Recreation Area within 100 yards of Walker Lake, or between Walker Lake and U.S. Highway 95 where camp fires are permitted.
NDF – all areas, roads and trails on State lands including the following state parks: Lake Tahoe Nevada, Washoe Lake, Berlin-Ichthyosaur, Rye Patch State Recreation Area, the Carson River Ranches portion of Ft. Churchill, and Dayton in western Nevada.
USFWS – all areas, roads and trails within the boundaries of the Stillwater, Anaho Island and Fallon National Wildlife Refuges. Campfires are prohibited on these refuge lands year-round.
BIA – Approximately 300 allotments encompassing 59,310 acres in Douglas County, Nevada, within the Carson Watershed that the U.S. Government (BIA) holds in trust for hundreds of individual Indian landowners, collectively known as the Pine Nut Allotments.
Citizens are reminded that charcoal grills cannot be used during fire restrictions. Charcoal burns longer and hotter than wood and may appear to be cold; however, embers can linger for hours. Winds can spread the embers from charcoal and campfires into vegetation, igniting a wildfire. Propane or white gas stoves are acceptable for use during fire restrictions.
As fire season continues the BLM, NDF, BIA and USFWS will be aggressively citing those who do not comply with the posted restrictions and those who use or possess fireworks. Violation of these prohibitions is subject to punishment by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both, as Class B misdemeanors under federal law (agency statutes vary). Persons may also be responsible for resource damage, suppression costs and any injuries that occur if they are found liable for causing a wildfire.
For more information or clarification on the restrictions, please contact the BLM-Carson City District Office at 775-885-6000, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at 775-423-5128, the BIA at 775-887-3500, or the Nevada Division of Forestry at 775-684-2500.