“The recent storms that came in over the past week are beginning to reestablish snowpack at higher elevations and bringing drenching rains at lower elevations,” said Plumas National Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer Mitch Wilson. “This, combined with the current forecast, indicates that fuel moistures are increasing enough to fully lift the fire restrictions.”
Despite the lifting of fire restrictions, care should still be used when recreating or working in the forest. Even during the winter, campfires and warming fires should never be left unattended and be dead-out and cold to the touch before leaving.
“Even with snow and increased fuel moisture, there is still the risk of wildfire,” Wilson said. “The area can still see periods of drying between storms and seasonal winds that can increase fire risk.”
To help prevent wildfires, it’s advised to do the following:
· Consider alternatives to a campfire, such as a portable camp stove.
· Smoking should be in a closed vehicle or fire-safe area. Dispose of cigarette debris in an ashtray.
· Do not drive or park in tall grass or on roads with heavy, fine fuel accumulations. Exhaust particles, hot exhaust pipes and hot catalytic converters can start grass fires in a matter of seconds.
· Secure chains properly from trailers or other equipment. Sparks from dragging chains, and exhaust from ATVs and motorcycles, can start grass fires. Spark arresters are required on all recreational and portable gasoline-powered equipment.
“We truly appreciate the help of our local residents and visitors in helping prevent human-caused wildfires this fire season,” Wilson said.
For more information on the Plumas National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/plumas, follow the forest on Twitter @USFSPlumas or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas.
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