Starting Saturday, restrictions on some outdoor activity within the 660,000-acre San Bernardino National Forest will be relaxed, thanks to recent winter storms that lessened wildfire danger in the preserve.
“After a very long fire season, I am breathing a sigh of relief for our staff, who tirelessly worked to serve the public throughout the peak fire season,” San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor Danelle Harrison said. “However, it remains important for the public to continue to be safe and responsible with any activities involving fire during the winter and spring as vegetation can still ignite.”
In June, the U.S. Forest Service clamped down on the use of certain devices and activities perceived as potential wildfire risks. A federal order prohibited building camp fires except in hosted campgrounds, off-roading and using portable stoves and lanterns unless they came equipped with fuel shutoff valves.
The revised order allows camp fires where there are established rings to build them in recreational sites, permits operating all-terrain and other vehicles on “paved, gravel or dirt” forest system roads, and removes conditions regarding the use of stoves and lanterns.
The new order also declares target shooting a permitted activity — in areas specifically designated for it.
Smoking remains prohibited, except within closed vehicles or buildings, and any type of welding isn’t allowed, officials said.
Violators could be subject to fines ranging between $5,000 and $10,000, according to the Forest Service.
More information on the revised restrictions is available via the USFS’ Idyllwild Ranger Station at 909-382-2922, or the San Jacinto Mountains Monument Visitors Center, 760-862-9984.