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High Fire Danger Prompts New Restrictions

Extraordinarily dry conditions today prompted the federal Bureau of Land Management´s Folsom office to impose new fire restrictions on 230,000 acres it manages in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento,

Sutter, Tuolumne and Yuba counties.

A BLM official says fuel moisture levels are lower than he´s ever seen them at this time of year.

The ban includes all open campfires – even in designated campgrounds. Only portable stoves are permitted. The use of pumps, chain saws, brush cutters and other engines is now allowed only from 5 to 11 a.m.

This year´s hot, dry weather also is prompting federal Small Business Administration disaster loans for small, non-farm businesses.

The loans are available in Butte, Colusa, Fresno, Glenn, Lake, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Sutter, Tuolumne and Yolo counties.