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Southern Nevada Fire Restrictions Announced

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Date: May 23, 2012

For Immediate Release: May 21, 2012

Southern Nevada Fire Restrictions Announced

Contact List (alphabetical by agency):

Bureau of Land Management - Kirsten Cannon - 702-515-5057

National Park Service - Kevin Turner - 702-293-8712

Nevada Division of Forestry - Mark Blankensop - 702-486-5123

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Dan Balduini - 702-515-5480

U.S. Forest Service - Ray Johnson - 702-498-1630

Beginning May 23, 2012 the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, Nevada Division of Forestry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service are implementing Southern Nevada fire restrictions due to the increased potential for wildland fires.

"We want the public to be extra careful as they enjoy their public lands this summer," said Chris Glode, Bureau of Land Management Acting Fire Management Officer.

The fire restrictions prohibit:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire except a portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel;
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle;
  • Welding, or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit;
  • Using, or causing to be used, any explosive, except by permit;
  • Using fireworks or firing a tracer;
  • Operating an off-road vehicle without a spark arrestor

The only exception to the restrictions are open campfires in developed recreation sites (such as a campground where a host is present or fee is charged); private property owners using an approved cooking device in Mt. Charleston area; people with a permit specifically authorizing an otherwise prohibited act; and/or any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area will allow wood or charcoal fires in grills of developed picnic areas; campfires with wood or charcoal burning devices on the shoreline where natural vegetation is at least 100 feet from the shoreline; barbecue grills on private boats outside the marinas of Lake Mead and Lake Mohave; rental boats are authorized to use barbecues attached to vessels if allowed under boat rental agreement; all vessel barbecue fires must be at least 100 feet away from shoreline vegetation.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will only allow campfires in the fire rings at Desert Pass Campground on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.Additionally, visitors to the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge may use fire for cooking in the grills at the day use area.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is prohibiting the use of steel jacket ammunition and explosive targets, as they are known fire starters.The BLM is also prohibiting campfires and/or charcoal fires in the Red Rock Hosted Campground and any established picnic areas.

"Southern Nevada has an abundance of invasive weeds that fuel wildland fire."Following fire restrictions and developing defensible space on private property will help reduce the risk of a catastrophic wildfire season," said Dennis Darling, U.S. Forest Service Fire Management Officer.

In 2012, Southern Nevada wildland firefighters responded to 162 wildland fires that burned 5,726 acres.

"The potential for wildland fires in Southern Nevada has recently increased due to higher temperatures that are dying vegetation, "said Mark Blankensop, Nevada Division of Forestry Regional manager.

"Mojave Desert lands burned by wildland fire are more vulnerable to new fires because they become overgrown with invasive annual grasses," said Tim Rash, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fire Management Officer.

"These restrictions should be taken seriously," said Aaron Baldwin, National Park Service Fire Management Officer."Violations can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and a year in jail as well as the costs associated with resource damage, suppression costs, and injuries if found guilty."

Did You Know?

Geometric Petroglyphs on rocks

As early as 3,000 years ago, people inhabiting the Southwest began chiseling and painting pictures on rocks and cliff walls. Preserved by the dry climate, much of this rock art ranging from complicated geometric designs to huge figures, remains to puzzle, astonish, and awe modern-day viewers.