Bishop Volunteer Fire Department wildfire 8.21

A member of the Bishop Volunteer Fire Department pulls a hose towards active flames in a battle against a vegetation fire at Five Bridges and Riverside Road just before 8 p.m. Thursday. Firefighters were able to contain the fire at about a quarter acre in size and remained on scene for a few hours for mop-up. Cal Fire, the Big Pine Volunteer Fire Department, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office and the Bishop office of the California Highway Patrol also responded to assist with the blaze.

Due to ongoing drought and increasing wildland fire danger especially at lower elevations, the Bureau of Land Management is prohibiting campfires, barbecues and open fires on all public lands, including developed campgrounds, in the Eastern Sierra Region managed by the Bishop Field Office.

The seasonal fire order went into effect Friday, Aug. 13, until further notice.  

The increased restrictions update the fire restrictions issued May 24 as well as the statewide fire prevention order. This action is being closely coordinated with the Inyo and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests, Cal Fire San Bernardino/Inyo/Mono Unit and the Mono County Sheriff’s Office.

California is in a drought with 85% of the state in extreme drought. The state is seeing historically dry fuel moisture, meaning the grass, brush and trees ignite and burn extremely quick.

Fire activity started much early this year with California’s single largest fire, the Dixie Fire, still burning north of Chico.

Taking individual responsibility to reduce wildland fire risk, while recreating on public lands, around homes and communities, before a fire occurs can help keep property, the public and firefighters safe, according to the BLM.  

The updated fire prevention order includes the Crowley Lake Campground in Mono County and the Tuttle Creek, Goodale Creek, Horton Creek, and Pleasant Valley Pit campgrounds in Inyo County. Portable stoves with gas, jelled petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed with a valid California campfire permit available free at all BLM, U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire offices, or at www.readyforwildfire.org/prevent-wildfire/campfire-safety/.  

Anyone found guilty of violating a fire prevention order may be fined not more than $100,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than 12 months. Restitution for total fire suppression and damage costs incurred may be borne by the trespasser.  

Homeowners in fire prone areas should create defensible space now: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/prepare-for-wildfire/get-ready/defensible-space/.

The public is encouraged to stay informed about the current fire situation by visiting the Incident Information System, known as InciWeb. Visit the BLM California Wildfire Dashboard to see an interactive map of fire restrictions on public lands throughout the state.

For more information,  contact the Bishop Field Office at (760) 872-5000.

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