The Carson and Bridgeport ranger districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management’s Carson City office, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Nevada Division of Forestry announced the implementation of fire restrictions at 12:01 a.m. May 30 due to exceptionally dry dead and live fuel moistures in the mixed conifer stands west of Highway 395, lingering drought conditions, increasing daytime temperatures and some human-caused fires. The restrictions will stay in place until further notice.
The 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 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); 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 or any other incendiary device; use of tracer rounds, steel-core ammunition or exploding targets including Binary Explosive Targets while recreational shooting; open burning (e.g. weeds, brush and yard debris).
Affected areas include: Forest Service — all areas, roads, and trails within the Carson and Bridgeport Ranger Districts on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, with the exception of using campfires within the approved fire pits or grills provided in open Fee Recreation sites; BLM — all public land areas, roads, and trails located west of Highway 395 within and administered by the BLM-Nevada Carson City District Office, with the exception of Indian Creek Campground, where there are designated fire pits and campfires are permitted; all public land areas, roads, and trails located east of Highway 395 within and administered by the BLM-Nevada Carson City District Office are not affected by fire restrictions at this time; BIA — approximately 300 allotments encompassing 59,310 acres in Douglas County within the Carson Watershed that the U.S. government holds in trust for hundreds of individual Indian landowners, collectively known as the Pine Nut Allotments; NDF — all areas, roads, and trails west of Highway 395.
The Nevada Division of Forestry restrictions within the Sierra Fire Protection District, and the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest prohibit operating vehicles off of existing hard-surface gravel roads or dirt roads in wildland areas, and operating vehicles or equipment traveling on or using wildland areas without at least an axe, a shovel, and one gallon of water. All agencies recommend avoiding cross-country travel whenever possible to prevent grass from igniting from hot exhaust systems and recommend that individuals carry cell phones while in the wildlands or national forests to report wild fires.
Citizens are reminded the 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, however, are acceptable for use during fire restrictions.
Agencies will be aggressively citing those who do not comply with the posted restrictions. 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.
Fires can be reported by calling 911 or the Interagency Dispatch Center at 775-883-5995. For more information or clarification on the restrictions, call 775-882-2766 or 775-684-2712.