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BLM Preparing For Potentially Busy Fire Season

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Sonora, CA — The Mother Lode Office of the Bureau of Land Management reports that the likelihood for large wildland fires will be above normal this summer.

Effective Friday, fire restrictions will take effect on all BLM managed lands in Tuolumne, Calaveras, Mariposa and Amador counties. Spokesperson Serena Baker reports, “The National Interagency Fire Center predicts the likelihood for large wildland fires will be above normal this summer. An unusually wet winter has produced an abundant grass crop, which has already cured or dried out. These heavy fuel loads have a high potential for creating extreme wildland fire behavior.”

The BLM notes that over the past decade nearly 90-percent of wildfires have been human caused. Those who spark a fire could be held responsible for suppression and repair costs.

Fire Restrictions going into effect Friday:

-No tools powered by internal combustion engines off established roads or trails (such as chainsaws or lawn mowers).

-No motorized vehicles off established roads or trails.

-No target shooting – hot bullet fragments, exploding targets and metal from recreational shooting can spark a wildfire. Use of firearms for hunting is still allowed. Hunters must abide by State of California laws and regulations.

-No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or at a developed recreation site, or other designated areas.

-No fireworks, including “safe and sane” fireworks.

-No welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.

-No explosives.

-No campfires, barbecues or open fires, except in a developed campground. Portable stoves with gas, jelled petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel are authorized with a valid California campfire permit available free at all BLM, Forest Service and CAL FIRE offices.