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Fire Restrictions Increased Due to High Fire Danger

Forest Service today announced that effective Wednesday, August 11, 2004, seasonal fire restrictions already in effect in High Hazard Areas of the Stanislaus National Forest are increased to include the Moderate Hazard Areas. Campfires, barbeques, and smoking will be restricted in the lower to middle elevation zones of the Forest, due to increased fire danger, including hotter weather and dryer conditions.

“Continued dry weather and tinder-dry conditions in the lower and middle elevations of the Forest require this extra measure to prevent large and damaging wildfires. We are asking the public´s cooperation in helping us prevent destructive, late-summer fires before they start,” said Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn. He emphasized the need to strategically minimize the potential for human caused wildland fires, citing this period of extreme fire danger.

Effective today, August 11, 2004 the following restrictions are expanded by Forest Order to include both the High and Moderate Hazard Areas of the Forest, ranging to approximately 7,000 feet elevation, on the Groveland, Mi-Wok, Summit, and Calaveras Ranger Districts of the Stanislaus National Forest:

No Campfires. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, (including briquette type barbecue), or stove fire is prohibited, except within developed recreation sites. Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit may use a portable stove or lantern that uses gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel. [36 CFR 261.52 (a)].

No Smoking. Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area al least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material [36 CFR 261.52 (d)].

No Welding. Operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame is prohibited, except by permit [36 CFR 261.52 (i)].

No Use Of Explosives. Using an explosive is prohibited, except by permit [36 CFR 261.52 (b)].

Violations of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both [16 USC 551; and 18 USC 3559; and 18 USC 3571].

These temporary fire restrictions will remain in effect until the end of the 2004 fire season, or otherwise terminated. Copies of the Forest Order and maps displaying the fire hazard areas are available for viewing at Forest Offices in Sonora, Mi-Wuk Village, Pinecrest, Groveland, and Hathaway Pines. The order and hazard area map may also be viewed on the Forest website at [http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/stanislaus].

Stanislaus National Forest Office locations, hours of summer operation, and telephone numbers are as follows:

Forest Supervisor´s Office

19777 Greenley Road, Sonora

(209) 532-3671

Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Mi-Wok Ranger Station

Highway 108, Mi-Wuk Village

(209) 586-3234

Monday-Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Summit Ranger Station

Highway 108, Pinecrest

(209) 965-3434

Monday-Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Groveland Ranger Station

Highway 120, Buck Meadows

(209) 962-7825

Monday-Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Calaveras Ranger Station

Highway 4, Hathaway Pines

(209) 795-1381

Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

These temporary fire restrictions by Forest Order suspend open campfires in High and Moderate Hazard Areas, except in developed campgrounds and recreation sites. A list of designated campgrounds is available at the above Forest Service offices. Concurrent with these Forest fire restrictions, open burning permits are suspended on Stanislaus National Forest land, including organizational camps and recreation residential properties administered under Forest Service Special Use Permit.

Seasonal fire restrictions went into effect this year on Thursday, July 8, 2004, in High Hazard Areas of the Stanislaus National Forest (in elevation zones ranging from 1,250 to 6,500 feet), and these restrictions remain in effect. Campfires, barbeques, and smoking were restricted in these lower elevation areas of the Forest due to increasing fire danger, including hotter weather and dryer conditions.