Fire Restrictions for Kern River District
In what may be the first ever Winter Fire Restrictions. This is due to high fuel loading of more than 129 million dead trees in California and continued dry conditions the Forest Service has announced-
Beginning December 21, and through January 8, 2018, the following restrictions will be in effect on the Kern River Ranger District:
- No campfires or charcoal fires are allowed, except, in designated campgrounds and areas posted as “Exempt Areas” in the Forest Order exhibit and with a valid California Campfire Permit. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/ for a list of exempt areas.
- No smoking is permitted, except within enclosed vehicles or buildings, developed recreation sites and other designated areas as listed in the Forest Order exhibit.
- Operating an internal combustion engine off of properly designated roads or trails and welding are all strictly prohibited during the increased fire restriction period.
Fireworks, exploding targets, tracer rounds and other incendiary ammunition or devices are not allowed in the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument at any time. This includes sparklers and so-called safe and sane fireworks.
Visitors, with a valid California Campfire Permit, may use portable stoves and lanterns with shut-off valves, using pressurized gas, liquid fuel, or propane in the general forest areas. Forest visitors must clear all flammable material five feet in all directions from their camp stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person attends the stove at all times when in use.
Reminder! California Campfire Permits are required for any source of flame or fire and are available for free at all Forest Service offices or online at www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit. Campfires must be attended by a responsible person at all times and completely extinguished after use.
Forest visitors are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” and call ahead to the local ranger station to check on local conditions. For more information call the Kern River Ranger Station at 760-376-3781 or visit the Sequoia National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia.
Forest Campground Seasonal Closures
Fall has officially arrived on the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument. Along with the seasonal changes, Forest officials are announcing campground and recreation site closures. Campground closings, or adjustment in facility services vary widely across the forest, with a few facilities already closed, some either closing or changing to limited service, and some staying open with full services depending on the weather.
Kern River Ranger District: Kernville office at 760-376-3781
Campgrounds and Day Use Areas open year round include: Pioneer Point, French Gulch, Halfway, Headquarters, Auxiliary, Old Isabella, South Fork, Camp 9 and Upper Richbar Day Use are open year round for your use. Undeveloped camping areas remaining open year round include all undeveloped camping areas on the Upper Kern River as well as Stine Cove and Hanning Flat at Lake Isabella.
Weather Dependent Campgrounds: Troy Meadow, Fish Creek and Horse Meadow Campgrounds on the Kern Plateau are still open, and generally close in November depending on weather. Evans Flat Campground in the Greenhorn Mountains and Breckenridge Campground in the Breckenridge Mountains will also remain open until the areas become inaccessible due to snow.
Campgrounds, Day Use Areas and Visitor Centers closed for the season include: Hobo, Hungry Gulch, Limestone, Thunderbird, Camp 3, Gold Ledge, Hospital Flat, Boulder Gulch, Lower Richbar Day Use and Live Oak Day Use. Blackrock and Lake Isabella visitor centers are closed for the season.
Tillie Creek, Paradise Cove, Fairview and Sandy Flat campgrounds will close Nov. 26.
Fixed Date Wet Weather Seasonal Closures for Some High Country Trails Go Into Effect January First including-
- Portugese Pass
- Bull Run
- Kennedy Meadows
- Mill Creek
Free Wood Gathering Permits - In an effort to help remove excessive dead wood from the Sequoia the Forest Service has cut wood available and free wood cutting permits. Call (760) 376-3781 for more information
PORTERVILLE, Calif., July 28, 2017 – The Sequoia National Forest, which includes the Giant Sequoia National Monument, will continue to issue Free “Personal Use” Firewood Permits through November 30, 2017. According to Forest Officials, the free permit may only be used on dead firewood material (without green leaves or needles) within the Sequoia National Forest.
To reduce the volume of debris laying on the ground, which creates a fire hazard, the Forest Service is offering free wood permits for the rest of the summer. “As most people are aware, the combination of drought and insects have caused heavy tree mortality across the Forest,” said Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliott. “The personal use wood cutting program is one means for reducing the hazardous material on the ground, and we want to make that program as productive as possible.”
Forest Service scientists expect to see continued elevated levels of tree mortality during 2017 in dense forest stands, stands impacted by root diseases or other stress agents and in areas with higher levels of bark beetle activity.
Permits and location maps are available at the Hume Lake, Western Divide, Kernville Ranger stations, Lake Isabella Office and the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Porterville.
Most notable rules and regulations that apply to the Free Firewood Permits:
- Permits are valid April 1, 2017 – November 30, 2017.
- One permit issued per person, with a ten-cord limit this season.
- Cutting with a chainsaw will only be permitted within 50 feet of the road
- Cutting or removing redwood (Giant Sequoia) trees or downed redwood material is prohibited.
- The wood collected is not for commercial use.
- Only dead firewood material (without green leaves or needles) may be taken.
- Cutting and loading of firewood are permitted only during daylight hours.
- Individuals are required to maintain a product removal record each day per removal site.
- Permittees removing forest firewood must be in possession of the permit during woodcutting.
- A load receipt must be attached to the load before leaving the wood cutting site.
- A permit is not valid in campgrounds or areas posted closed to wood cutting unless authorized by the District Ranger in writing.
- Do not cut trees that are marked with paint or wildlife tree tags.
- Permits are only valid on the Sequoia National Forest, which includes the Giant Sequoia National Monument.
- Standing dead trees (snags with no green showing in the crown) can be cut between JUNE 1 and OCTOBER 15. Provided they are no larger than 15 inches in diameter at ground level. Leave a stump height of less than 12 inches from the ground on the high side of a tree.
- Hume Lake Ranger District allows cutting and removing fuelwood from the following campgrounds: Princess, Hume Lake, Ten Mile, Buck Rock, and Eshom with a valid free use fuelwood permit, Monday through Thursday 8 am to 4 pm.
- Standing dead oak trees may NOT be cut on the Hume Lake Ranger District.
For MORE information about Keyesville contact the BLM at (661) 391-6000
For MORE information about all other areas contact the Forest Service at (760) 376-3781