Campfire Update in California Camping Areas
The Rim Fire has burned nearly 190,000 acres in California’s Tuolumne and Mariposa counties since it began Aug. 17. Many areas remain under evacuation orders and the entire southern part of Sequoia National Forest (the Groveland Ranger District) is under a temporary closure. Highway 120 remains closed outside of Yosemite’s western boundary, the Merced Sun-Star reported.
Because of this year’s extreme danger, fire restrictions have been put into effect throughout the state. Here’s a summary of current restrictions for national forest lands in the Sierra Nevada:
• Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument: Campfires are prohibited in this southernmost part of the Sierra. Gas stoves and lanterns may be operated with a California Campfire Permit in established recreation areas only.
• Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Campfires are prohibited below the 6,000 foot elevation level. Above this elevation they are allowed in campgrounds, but not outside of them.
• Sierra, Inyo, El Dorado, Tahoe, and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests, and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Area: Campfires are allowed in developed campgrounds only. Portable stoves and lanterns may be operated in other areas with a California Campfire Permit.
• Yosemite National Park: Campfires are allowed in developed campgrounds.
• Stanislaus National Forest: Although the Groveland Ranger District and part of the MiWok Ranger District are currently closed to the public, other parts of the forest are open. Because the Rim fire is burning in this forest and evacuation orders have been extended as far as Pinecrest, it’s probably not a good camping choice until the fire is out. If you plan a trip there, call for current campfire/stove/lantern regulations and for recommended destinations.
• Wilderness Areas: Throughout most of the Sierra’s wilderness areas, backpackers are currently prohibited from building campfires. If you’re planning a trip, check with the ranger station that issues your wilderness permit.