Please check the Incident Information System (InciWeb) for information about any current wildfires in the Pacific Southwest Region. Below are alerts, advisories and closures on the National Forest. "Know Before You Go" and call ahead to the local Ranger Station to check on the latest conditions.
The Forest Service has begun its winter prescribed burn program in the San Bernardino National Forest with the predicted favorable weather conditions. Winter burning projects are part of a continuing effort to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire and improve forest health. The public may see smoke from pile burning activities at stations and in the forest. Click here for more information including planned project locations
We urge you to be cautious while driving on forest roads during the winter. Unpaved roads that are open during the winter, such as 2N09 (Polique Canyon Road), are not maintained. You should have a high-clearance 4x4 vehicle, chains, shovel, sand, cell phone (will not work in all areas), and emergency supplies. Check the weather forecast and call the local ranger station to inquire on conditions before your trip. Do not travel alone and be sure to leave your itinerary with someone you trust. Even with these precautions you can still get stuck, and if help can make it to your location, it will be very expensive to get your vehicle out.
For State Highway information contact CalTrans 1-800-427-ROAD (7623) or http://www.dot.ca.gov
State Law: four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in mountain areas during winter months
California has many kinds of beautiful and harmless native snakes. However, one kind of snake that is a safety concern for anyone outdoors is the rattlesnake. All snakes, including rattlesnakes, provide humans with a tremendous service because they control rodent populations.
Rattlesnakes are the only venomous snakes in California that can cause serious injury to humans; however, very few people die from rattlesnake bites. Generally not aggressive, rattlesnakes strike when threatened or deliberately provoked, and given room they will retreat. Never try to pick up a rattlesnake. Most snake bites occur when a rattlesnake is handled or accidentally touched by someone.
The potential of running into a rattlesnake should not deter anyone from venturing outdoors, but there are several precautions that can be taken to lessen the chance of being bitten.
The San Bernardino National Forest is home to a large black bear population (Ursus americanus).
There are many things we can do to avoid attracting bears. Good sanitation and awareness are key! By knowing how to recreate in bear country, we can prevent bears from being conditioned to being around people. Once conditioned, a bear is dangerous. It may approach people and come into camps and homes in search for food.
Last spring, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) received reports from residents of sick and dying western gray squirrels in Big Bear Valley. Researchers concluded the squirrels were dying from complications of mange, a contagious skin disease caused by parasitic mites.
Surveys conducted in spring of 2012 yielded only a handful of western gray squirrels in areas of the Big Bear Valley where squirrels were once plentiful.
Local residents are now being asked to help collect data so researchers can better understand past abundance, where sick squirrels have been observed, and where western gray squirrels are now. The website address to report information is at:
Forest officials have evaluated the conditions in the area and made the determination that a full closure of the canyon due to severe drought, extremely dry conditions and limited evacuation and escape routes out of the canyon in the event of a wildland fire. The 1650 acre closure will remain in effect until significant rainfall reduces the threat of wildland fire.
There is an emergency closure for the Mountain Fire Closure Area on the San Jacinto Ranger District. Members of the public are prohibited from being on National Forest System Lands, Roads, and Trails within the Fire Closure Area.