Mendocino National Forest imposes fire restrictions

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – Officials of the Mendocino National Forest are setting special fire restrictions on the national forest because of the risk of large fires due to very dry conditions in forest vegetation.

The fire prevention measures went into effect Monday morning and continue through the end of fire season, according to Forest Supervisor Tom Contreras.

The forest has already experienced 58 wildland fires in June and July. Nine of those are still actively burning in the Soda and Yolla Bolly Complexes.

The forest is putting the temporary fire restrictions into place about three weeks earlier than normal this year to lessen the danger of human-caused fires. Extremely low snow and rain levels and recent hot, dry summer weather have caused the vegetation to dry out. Hot weather is expected to continue through July, August and September, resulting in increased fire danger.

"By concentrating open campfires in designated recreation sites it should help minimize the potential of accidental ignition of wildland fires," Contreras said.

Under these fire restrictions, Mendocino National Forest visitors will be allowed to continue to ride off highway vehicles on designated roads and trails, provided they are equipped with the required spark arresting devices.

Persons with valid personal use wood cutting permits may use chain saws only on established roads and designated trails; they will need to take the wood to be cut to those areas. All engines must be equipped with spark-arresting devices.

Similar restrictions have already gone into effect on other nearby Forests. Each forest, however, has slightly different restrictions, so visitors are urged to contact the forest they plan to visit to learn the measures required at that location.

Effective at 6 a.m. July 14, the temporary fire restrictions on the Mendocino National Forest will:

Persons who have a special use permit from the Forest Service specifically authorizing the prohibited activities will be allowed to continue.

California Campfire Permits are free and available at all Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), and Bureau of Land Management offices, and from campground hosts and most Forest Service field personnel. The campfire permit ensures the recipient gets information about the terms of the permit and the current conditions of vegetation. By accepting the permit, the permittee agrees to:

Designated campgrounds where open campfires are allowed and California Campfire Permits are not needed are:

Other recreation sites are designated as fire safe (open fires allowed), and where Campfire Permits are required are:

Persons without a permit may be subject to a fine, six months in jail, or both. If a person is found to have caused a wildfire anywhere on the national forest, they can be held liable for suppressioncosts.

For more information about the use of fire on the National Forest contact any Mendocino National Forest office or facility, or call 530-934-3316, TTY 530-934-7724.

Additional information can also be obtained from the Mendocino National Forest Web site at