CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) The Bureau of Land Management has issued seasonal fire restrictions that will go into effect at the end of this week, including temporary limitations on target shooting.
The restrictions apply to public lands managed by the BLM, and it includes lands in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. Campfires and target shooting are never allowed at Fort Ord National Monument because of munitions hazards and public safety concerns.
The following restrictions will be in place until fire danger is reduced:
- No campfires, barbecues or open fires unless it is in a developed campground. Portable stoves with gas, jelled petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed with a valid California campfire permit.
- No target shooting because hot bullet fragments, exploding targets and metal can spark wildfires. Guns can still be used for hunting, but hunters need to follow California laws and regulations.
- No motor vehicles off designated roads or trails.
- No tools powered by internal combustion engines, such as chainsaws or lawn mowers, off designated roads or trails.
- No smoking except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or other designated areas.
- No welting or operating torches with open flame.
Anyone who violates a fire prevention order could be fined for as much as 100,000 and/or up to 12 months in prison. Those who violate the orders may also be responsible for restitution for fire suppression and damage costs.
The restrictions will go into effect on May 21.
The BLM says about 95% of all wildfires in California are human-caused, and target shooting has sparked more than half of the fires within some field office boundaries in the last decade. Last year, about 275 wildfires burned about 200,000 acres of BLM-managed land in California, and climate scenarios show that there could be more severe wildfires this year and a season expansion.
Read the full fire prevention order for the Central Coast Field Office below.