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Hazardous Trees A Concern For Labor Day Weekend

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Sonora, CA – With the favorable weather for the Labor Day many will head to the forest to camp, hike and picnic, but Stanislaus National Forest officials warn visitors to watch out for hazardous trees.

There is a small possibility of thunderstorms and lightning, especially in the high country during the weekend, according to forest spokesperson Diana Fredlund. She cautions that lightning strikes can ignite trees or cause them to come crashing down on roadways. Fredlund asks, “If you do find one that has a tree down on it and if you see a forest service employee let them know. We’ve got some high winds coming in, so it is possible that they could be knocking down trees that we don’t know about.”

When camping due to the extensive tree mortality in the forest make sure the area is safe. Fredlund explains, “We have a saying that says, ‘look up, look down and look around.’ Make sure that you don’t have any tree limbs that are hanging or red dead trees above your campsite to make sure it’s safe.”

Some areas in the Donnell Fire footprint on the Summit Ranger District remain closed to the public.

The forest remains under high and moderate fire restrictions that prohibit campfires, cookstoves and smoking outside developed campgrounds, except in the developed recreation sites. Forest officials provide these tips for camping:

  • Campfire restrictions are in place. Check at visitor centers for more information or visit to see the guidelines.
  • If campfires are allowed, obtain a campfire permit at a Ranger District front desk or to obtain one online.
  • Clear away grass, leaves and other debris within five feet of a campfire or grill
  • Always have a responsible person in attendance
  • Have a shovel and a bucket of water nearby and ensure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving
  • When barbecuing, never leave the grill unattended
  • Children near open flame should always be supervised by a responsible adult

Regarding Travel:

  • Safe towing: dragging chains will throw sparks that easily ignite wildfires
  • Be wheel safe: Check tire pressure before leaving home


For information in different ranger districts call:

Stanislaus NF Supervisor’s Office:  209-532-3671

Calaveras Ranger District:  209-795-1381

Groveland Ranger District 209-962-7825

Summit Ranger District at 209-965-3434