The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has initiated Stage 3 Fire Restrictions for BLM-managed public lands in Southern California counties, including San Diego.
The restrictions, in place until further notice, were issued due to dry and hot weather conditions that could help start a fire, especially near dry vegetation as we approach wildfire season.
The BLM states that the Stage 3 Restrictions prohibit setting, building, maintaining, attending or using open fire of any kind.
Controlled flame devices, such as portable stoves fueled by petroleum or liquid gas products are allowed only with a permit, says the BLM. The public is urged to use extreme caution when using fire. The BLM says people should always have enough water on hand and put their fire completely out before leaving their site.
Smoking is only permitted within enclosed vehicles or camp trailers.
Vehicles should be parked away from locations where exhaust could cause grass or other combustibles to ignite, says the BLM.
In addition to the fire restrictions, there are also restrictions for recreational target shooting within western Riverside and San Diego counties.
This order closes off approximately four million acres of public lands used for recreational target shooting. Violation of the target shooting restriction could result in a $1,000 dollar fine or imprisonment up to one year, according to the BLM.
The restrictions are timely, on the heels of San Diego's Gate Fire, which scorched more than 2,000 acres off State Route 94 south of Jamul one week ago. The blaze started near an area sometimes used as a shooting range.
In the coming months, warmer temperatures will increase wildfire dangers in San Diego County.