Fire restrictions on public lands take effect Friday

Fire restrictions take effect on public lands starting Friday.

Fire restrictions take effect on public lands starting Friday.

It’s a rare year that there isn’t at least one red flag warning before fire restrictions are implemented on public lands.

The last time was in 2010, when the first red flag warning occurred on July 12. This year has yet to see a red flag warning in the Sierra Front but with a stray spark setting a wildfire in Genoa, it’s clear the danger has arrived.

Public land agencies are implementing fire restrictions effective 12:01 a.m. Friday until further notice, due to to drying vegetation, increasing daytime temperatures and several human-caused fires. The Bureau of Land Management Carson City District Office, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Western Nevada Agency, Bureau of Reclamation California - Great Basin Region, Nevada Division of Forestry, Public Domain Allotments, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge Complex announced the implementation of fire restrictions on all lands under their jurisdiction.

Fire restrictions are implemented based on specific criteria to including moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors, and firefighting resource availability. With increasingly dry vegetation and severe drought conditions, and Fourth of July celebrations approaching, the danger for human-caused wildfires increases even more. All agencies are asking the public to be extremely careful when recreating on state and federal lands and call 911 to report any fires.

For more information or clarification on the restrictions, contact the BLM-Carson City District Office at 775-885-6000; the BIA at 775-887-3500; Bureau of Reclamation California - Great Basin at 916-978-5101; USFWS at 775-423-5128; and NDF at 775-684-2709 or go to

Fire restrictions prohibit the following:

• Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire (using wood, charcoal or any other material), campfire or stove fire except a portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel outside of a developed fee campground or picnic area (except by permit).

• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or at a developed campground or picnic area.

• Operating vehicles or other motorized equipment off of existing paved, gravel or dirt roads.

• Welding or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.

• Using or causing to be used, any explosive, except by permit.

• Possession or use of fireworks or any other incendiary device.

• Use of tracer rounds (always prohibited), steel-core ammunition, or exploding targets, including Binary Explosive Targets while recreational shooting.

All agencies recommend when operating vehicles or equipment traveling on or using wildland areas to have at least an axe, shovel and one gallon of water and to carry cell phones while in the wildlands or national forests to report wildfires.

As fire season continues all agencies will be aggressively citing those who do not comply with the posted restrictions. Violation of these prohibitions is subject to punishment by a fine and/or imprisonment (agency statutes vary). Persons may also be responsible for resource damage, suppression costs and any injuries that occur if they are found liable for causing a wildfire.

As a reminder, the following safety tips should be followed while target shooting:

• Refrain from shooting during hot, dry, and windy conditions.

• Do not use incendiary or tracer ammo. Incendiary and tracer ammo are always prohibited on public lands.

• Place your targets on dirt or gravel areas clear of vegetation and avoid shooting into rocky areas. Placing a target in dry grass increases the risk of fire.

• Be aware that all types of ammunition can start fires under the right conditions, especially steel core ammunition.

• Bring a container of water. This may seem obvious, but shooters often fail to bring enough water to put a fire out. A five-gallon bucket of water readily available while shooting could prevent a disaster if a fire does start.

• Bring a shovel. Use the shovel to dig a trench around your targets before shooting to ensure that any fire caused by sparks can be easily contained.

• Shoot at quality steel targets designed to minimize risks to both the shooter and the environment. For steel targets to be functional and safe, they should be made of high quality through hardened steel that has a Brinell hardness number of at least 500.

• Do not shoot trash. Trash like old couches and TVs can often be found illegally dumped on public land but can be dangerous fire hazards when shot.

• Please shoot responsibly and clean up after shooting.

Affected areas include the following:

BLM - All areas, roads, and trails on the BLM-Carson City District outside of developed recreation sites except for Moon Rocks Recreation Area. These restrictions are in addition to and not separate from those which were issued at the BLM state level.

BIA - All lands administered by the BIA located within or adjacent to the BLM's Carson City District. That includes approximately 300 allotments encompassing 59,310 acres in Douglas County within the Carson Watershed that the U.S. government holds in trust for hundreds of individual Indian landowners, collectively known as the Pine Nut Allotments.

RECLAMATION - The order applies to Reclamation-administered lands within the Newlands Project boundary administered by the Lahontan Basin Area Office, in Churchill, Lyon, Storey, and Washoe counties. Exception: the Lahontan Recreation Area.

USFWS - All areas, roads, and trails within the boundaries of the Stillwater, Anaho Island and Fallon National Wildlife Refuges. Campfires are prohibited on these refuge lands year-round.

NDF – State Parks in the Western region, including Spooner Lake and Backcountry, Sand Harbor, Van Sickle, Cave Rock, Berlin Ichthyosaur, Fort Churchill, Walker River, Washoe Lake, Rye Patch, Dayton, Mormon Station, and Lahontan are under more stringent fire restriction. These state parks are restricting all campfires and use of charcoal. All other restrictions listed above are the same.


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