Dry vegetation, drought conditions, increasing daytime temperatures, and several human-caused fires are the reasons the Bureau of Land Management, Carson City District Office; USDA Forest Service, Bridgeport and Carson ranger districts; the Nevada Division of Forestry; the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are putting in place fire restrictions in western Nevada effective Friday and lasting until further notice.
The restrictions prohibit building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, 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 explosives, except by permit; possessing or using fireworks or other incendiary devices; and using tracer rounds, steel-core ammunition, or exploding targets, including Binary Explosive Targets while recreational shooting.
The Nevada Division of Forestry also prohibits operating vehicles or equipment traveling on or using wildland areas without at least an axe, shovel and one gallon of water. The other agencies require all motor vehicles to be equipped with an operational spark arrester. All agencies recommend that individuals carry cell phones while in the wildlands or national forests to report wildfires.
The restrictions are taking place in 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 campfires are permitted; all areas, roads, and trails within the Bridgeport and Carson 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; all areas, roads and trails on state lands; approximately 300 allotments encompassing 59,310 acres in Douglas County within the Carson Watershed; and 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.
Charcoal grills cannot be used during fire restrictions. Propane or white gas stoves are acceptable for use during fire 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. Violators found guilty of having a fire during restrictions on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest could receive a maximum fine of $5,000 or six months in jail or both. 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 to Sierra Front Interagency Fire Dispatch Center in Minden, 775-883-5995, or by calling 911.
For more information or clarification on the restrictions, call BLM-Carson City District Office at 775-885-6000, USFS Bridgeport Ranger District at 760-932-7070 and Carson Ranger District at 775-882-2766; the NDF at 775-684-2500; the BIA at 775-887-3500; and the USFWS at 775-423-5128.