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Fire restrictions elevated as severe drought persists, wildfires increase

By ThisIsReno
Poeville Fire. Image: Trevor Bexon

State and federal public land management agencies have elevated Nevada’s fire restrictions for the remainder of August, and perhaps longer. The heightened restrictions prohibit all open flame campfires on state and federal lands, including within developed campgrounds, day use areas and dispersed camp areas.

The restrictions are a result of record dry conditions and severe drought combined with an increase in public lands use and human-caused fires.

In a joint statement issued by the Nevada Division of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management, and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, officials said there is a high likelihood of a fire exhibiting extreme behavior and posing containment problems for firefighters.

“The monsoonal moisture that is typical for this time of year has not yet surfaced, and officials expect the already critically dry fuels to continue to deteriorate even further throughout the month of August,” the statement said.

It went on to note that, “to date, there have been more human-caused fires across the state than what is normally averaged in an entire year.”

Restrictions include, but aren’t limited to:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal BBQ or stove fire (except a portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel).
  2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle.
  3. Welding, or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.
  4. Using, or causing to be used, any explosive, except by permit.
  5. Discharge, use, or allowing the use of fireworks, tracer rounds, explosive targets, or any other incendiary device.
  6. Operating or parking a vehicle or other motorized equipment over or on top of dried/cured vegetation.

Public land agencies note that failure to comply with the restrictions can result in both civil and criminal penalties, including up to six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine for illegal campfires. Those responsible for starting a wildfire could also be held civilly and criminally liable.

Additional fire restrictions may be enforced based on agency. For more information or clarification, visit https://www.nevadafireinfo.org/restrictions-and-closures

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