Elevated Fire Restrictions Enacted on the Cleveland National Forest

Release Date: Sep 1, 2011  

Contact(s): Brian Harris, Public Affairs Officer, 858-674-2984 office, 619-937-1462 cell


A brown sign with Smokey Bear on it.

Effective today, fire restrictions on the Cleveland National Forest have been moved to the “Elevated” level.  The increase in fire restrictions is due to dryer fuel conditions, higher temperatures, and the likelihood of small fires becoming larger fires.

The purpose of fire restrictions is to reduce the risk of human-caused fires during high fire danger.  Fire restrictions impose limitations on forest users, and are implemented only as deemed necessary to help prevent wildfires.

Under Elevated fire restrictions, the Forest Service restricts the conduct of activities that have historically caused wildfire starts on the Forest.  See page two for a list of Elevated Fire Restrictions.  Additionally, the Forest may close some areas that are especially prone to the ignition of wildfires.

The Cleveland National Forest fire restriction system works in conjunction with the daily Fire Danger Rating System, commonly referred to as the “Smokey Bear fire danger level.”  The Fire Danger Rating System is a scientific calculation that takes into effects several factors such as fuels conditions, expected weather effects on fuels, burning indices, live fuel moistures, and energy release component calculations, to establish the likelihood of a fire starting within a 24 hour period.

“When you see a Smokey Bear sign that states the “Fire Danger Today is Very High,” you need to know that the likelihood of a wildfire starting, and then quickly developing into a large fire is a strong possibility,” stated Carlton Joseph, Fire Chief for the Cleveland National Forest.  “The public needs to be extremely careful when recreating within the Forest during periods of high, very high and extreme fire danger.”

The daily Fire Danger Rating System and the fire restrictions level are posted and updated on the Cleveland National Forest web site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/cleveland

Contact your closest Forest Service office to find out the current information concerning fire danger across the Forest, and the level of fire restrictions currently in effect before you head into the Forest.  

“Know before you go!” Forest contacts for current information:

  • District offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00AM till 4:30PM.
  • For the Cleveland National Forest Supervisor’s Office call (858) 673-6180. 
  • For Alpine, Descanso, and Laguna Mountain areas contact the Descanso Ranger District at (619) 445-6235.
  • For Palomar Mountain, Henshaw, Ramona, Temecula Valley and Oak Grove areas contact the Palomar Ranger District at (760) 788-0250.
  • For the Ortega Hwy area, San Mateo, Orange County and Corona areas contact the Trabuco Ranger District at (951) 736-1811.

-CNF-

Elevated Fire Restrictions:

  1. Fireworks are never allowed on the Cleveland National Forest.
  2. Spark arrestors are required for all off-highway vehicles, chainsaws, and other internal combustion equipment.
  3. Welding, grinding, cutting, the use of explosives, and other activities requiring a special use authorization may be restricted.
  4. No wood or charcoal fires are allowed except in identified developed campgrounds and developed picnic areas with designated fire rings.  Forest officials have the latitude to add or subtract to the allowable fire use areas as deemed necessary due to fire danger.
  • Identified campground and picnic areas where wood or charcoal fires are allowed under Elevated Fire Restrictions:
    • Descanso Ranger District
      1. Burnt Rancheria Campground
      2. El Prado Group Site
      3. Horse Heaven Group Site
      4. Laguna Campground
      5. Wooded Hill Group Site
      6. Boulder Oaks Campground (currently does not allow wood/charcoal camp gires and BBQs due to water at the site not being operational)
      7. Cibbets Flats Campground
    • Palomar Ranger District
      1. Crestline Group Site
      2. Fry Creek Campground
      3. Oak Grove Campground
      4. Observatory Campground
      5. Dripping Springs Campground
      6. Indian Flats Campground
      7. San Luis Rey Picnic Area
      8. Inaja Memorial Picnic Area
    • Trabuco Ranger District
      1. All campground and picnic areas are open except for the Wildomar Campground, when the Wildomar Off-road Vehicle (OHV) area is closed.
  1. Gas, liquid, and jelly petroleum fueled stove are allowed in developed campgrounds, developed picnic areas, and other areas with a proper permit, except for remote camping areas on the Descanso and Palomar Ranger District, and the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness Area on the Trabuco Ranger District.
  2. Discharge of firearms is prohibited on the Forest except for the purpose of hunting during the designated hunting season as established by the California Department of Fish and Game.  Target shooting is only allowed within designated areas on the Forest.
  3. Discharging a firearm using the following ammunition is never allowed on the Cleveland National Forest to include hunting seasons:  Steel core ammunition; armor piercing ammunition; and, tracer ammunition.
  4. Smoking is prohibited within the Forest boundary, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or within a Developed Recreation Site.

Full News Release (PDF 59 KB)