Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Officials urge visitors to recreate responsibly on July 4




MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. — With the anticipated increase in visitors that summer brings, forest officials share a few reminders on wildfire awareness and safety ahead of the July 4 weekend.

More than 90% of all wildland fires are human caused. This, coupled with drier than normal conditions, increases the odds of forest fires igniting. Together, Californians can prepare and prevent wildfires with just a bit of planning.

Campfire permits are required for the use of campfires, charcoal fires or portable gas stoves. Permits are available online at https://www.readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit.

Visitors can follow these steps to prevent wildfires:

• Campfires: Clear all flammable material away from the fire for a minimum of five feet in all directions. Make sure you have a shovel and sufficient water to put out the campfire. Attend the fire at all times and never build a campfire on a windy day. Ensure your fire is completely extinguished: drown with water, stir with your shovel, drown again, and feel for any heat using the back of your hand.

• Camp stoves: If using a portable stove, make sure the area is clear of grasses and other debris that may catch fire. Prevent stoves from tipping.

• Vehicles: Stick to designated trails and be careful of parking or driving your car or ATV in tall, dry, vegetation, including grass. When towing, ensure your safety chains are properly connected with any type of trailer. The hot underside of the vehicle and dragging chains can start a fire.

• Flammable items: The use of any fireworks, explosives or internal or external combustion engine without a spark arrester is prohibited on the forest. Always use caution with smoking. Extinguish all smoking materials dead out on bare soil. Pack out all cigarette butts and filters.

Several campgrounds and trailheads remain closed due to ongoing safety hazards.

Forest officials remind visitors to check the website for recreation areas that are open: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/mendocino/recreation.

The popular Letts Lake Campground remains closed for maintenance; however, visitors can park at Big Springs Picnic for day use access to the lake. Big Springs Picnic is located on the west side of Letts Lake, accessed by a road 1/4 mile beyond the Letts Lake turnoff.

Although crews have cleared several forest roads, hazards remain in many areas, including falling trees and snags, rolling rocks and debris. Roads could become impassable at any time. Forest officials recommend driving high-clearance vehicles on dirt roads and carrying a chain saw.

Forest officials remind visitors to be cautious when recreating in the forest and to be aware at all times of potential hazards in a burned area, which includes dead standing trees, downed trees, dropped limbs, stump holes or unstable terrain. More information about hazards associated with a burned area is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/mendocino/hazards.

Bears are active in the forest this time of year. Forest visitors can avoid problems with bears by maintaining a safe distance. Visitors must be vigilant with food storage and trash. Never feed bears and report any encounters with a bear to forest staff. Additional information about avoiding bear encounters is available at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/mendocino/bears.

Upcoming Calendar

28Sep
09.28.2022 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Levee and flood risk workshop
29Sep
09.29.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
29Sep
09.29.2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Local Hazard Mitigation Plan update meeting
1Oct
10.01.2022 7:00 am - 11:00 am
Sponsoring Survivorship annual walk and run
1Oct
10.01.2022 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Konocti Challenge
1Oct
1Oct
10.01.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
1Oct
10.01.2022 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
20th annual Falling Leaves Quilt Show
1Oct
10.01.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop

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