helicopter on ground with ligtning in mountain backgroundIt is no secret that there is an extended, severe drought in California. Thunderstorms have already started several wildfires started by lightning strikes and more are expected over the next several months. Given the seriousness of the situation, coupled with the fact that most wildfires are caused by human activity, there is a prohibition on campfires whether in developed or non-developed campsites on many forest lands.

(Update & correction 7/03/2021): Inyo National Forest is in Stage 2: Very High Risk which is still allowing campfires only in fire pits provided in developed campgrounds. Sequoia National Forest is in Stage 3: Extremely High Risk with no campfires allow in either developed or undeveloped campgrounds and site.

In a press release, effective June 30, USDA Sequoia National Forest fire officials announced that they will raise campfire restrictions due to extreme fire danger. The increased restrictions prohibit the use of Campfires in the Forest, including developed and non-developed campsites. Current and forecasted weather, coupled with arid conditions, have created substantial, hazardous fire potential. These conditions are anticipated to continue into the foreseeable future as drought conditions persist.

The restrictions are deemed necessary to protect public safety and prevent human-caused wildfires. Forest officials consider current and predicted weather, fuel conditions, fire activity levels, and available resources before implementing fire restrictions.

June 30 through November 30, 2021, the following restrictions are in effect.

  • No Campfires will be allowed on Forest Service Land in Stage 3: Extreme Conditions

Visitors with a valid California Campfire Permit may use a portable stove or lantern that uses gas, kerosene, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel, with a shut-off valve, in an area at least three feet from any flammable materials. Free campfire permits are available at www.readyforwildfire.org/prevent-wildfire/campfire-safety/.

  • No Smoking is permitted, except within an enclosed vehicle.
  • No motorized vehicles off properly designated Forest Service roads or trails.
  • No welding, operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame.
  • Fireworks, exploding targets, tracer rounds, and other incendiary ammunition or devices are not allowed in the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument at any time. This includes sparklers or safe and sane fireworks.

Fire restriction violation is punishable by a fine of no more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization or incarceration for not more than six months, or both.

Know Before You Go! Check current conditions by visiting the Sequoia National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia, emailing [email protected], or calling your district’s visitor center at:

  • Hume Lake Ranger District visitor’s center in Dunlap
    Mondays and Fridays 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., (559) 338-2251
  • Western Divide Ranger District visitor’s center in Springville
    Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., (559) 539-2607
  • Kern River Ranger District visitor’s center in Kernville
    Daily 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., (760) 376-3781
  • Blackrock Station on Sherman Pass
    Thursday and h Monday 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
  • Forest Headquarters visitor’s center in Porterville
    Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., (559) 784-1500

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