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Fire restrictions in place for Spring Mountains National Recreation Area

Officials with the U.S. Forest Service, announced the implementation of fire restrictions in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, encompassing the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.

The fire restrictions intended to enhance public safety, prohibits the building, maintaining, or use of a fire, campfire, or stove fire on lands maintained by the federal agency.

U.S. Forest Service’s Ray Johnson said the restrictions were implemented earlier than usual due to severe drought conditions in the western United States.

“It’s a little dryer than average as far as our fuel moistures go,” he said. “Because of that, all of the federal lands in southern Nevada are all going into fire restrictions. They include the forest service, BLM, the National Park Service at Lake Mead and the Fish and Wildlife Service.”

U.S. Forest Service’s Victor Guererro said the restrictions also include those who smoke.

“The restrictions do allow people to smoke in their enclosed vehicles, buildings, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter, provided it’s barren or cleared of all flammable materials,” he said.

There are a few exemptions to the fire restrictions. People are allowed to use portable stoves which heat with gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.

Johnson said campfires within approved fire pits or grills within developed recreation sites are also permitted.

Other exemptions include persons with a permit specifically exempting them from the order as any federal, state, local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty are also exempt.

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services Chief Scott Lewis said area residents should heed the directions of red flag warnings each year.

He noted wildfires can occur without the assistance of an open flame.

“Winds, dry, conditions, very low humidity and high temperatures all add to the ingredients for an explosive fire,” he said. “They can come from any number of different sources. Striking a rock with a shovel can cause a spark as well as lawnmowers and any type of activities outside such as welding, grinding or working on vehicles. Any introduction of an open flame type of situation needs to be avoided.”

The restriction order is located on the website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/htnf/.

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