June 27, 2016
Contact: Mike Theune
Contact: Rebecca Paterson
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. June 27, 2016– Over the past five years, the Sierra Nevada has experienced an unprecedented drought. The number of dead and dying trees continues to grow. While the area received a near-normal rainfall and snowpack this year, the threat of unwanted wildfires is still here. Due to the winter rains, grasses and other annuals have grown and now dried out, further fueling the risk from wildfire, especially in lower elevations.
Additionally, all across the state, areas are beginning to see the growth of large wildfires fueled by above-normal temperatures stretching resources.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Superintendent Woody Smeck said, “In order to protect our visiting public, staff, and the parks resources and assets, we must be proactive in our approach to preventing unwanted wildfires.”
Therefore, directed by the Superintendent of the parks, Stage 2 Fire Restrictions will be effective at 8:00 a.m. on June 28, 2016.
This means that wood or charcoal fire will be prohibited in Buckeye Flat, Potwisha, and South Fork Campgrounds, as well as Ash Mountain and Hospital Rock Picnic Areas. This also includes Wilderness areas below 6,000 feet.
Smoking is also prohibited below 6,000 feet, except within an enclosed vehicle, a building in which smoking is allowed, a campground or picnic area where wood and charcoal fires are allowed, or a designated smoking area.
Gas, propane, alcohol (with and without a shutoff valve) and tablet/cube stoves are still permitted in all areas.
For information on the other fire restriction stage levels, please visit https://www.nps.gov/seki/learn/nature/fire-restrictions.htm