Fire Restrictions and Responsible Recreation on the Eldorado National Forest


News Release

For Immediate Release

July 2, 2024

Contact: (530) 622-5061

PLACERVILLE, CA: With the temperatures soaring, vegetation drying out, and the arrival of the popular 4th of July holiday, the Eldorado National Forest is encouraging responsible recreation by our visiting public. Please remember that Fireworks – even the “safe and sane” variety – are not permitted at any time or in any location within the Forest.

In response to the increasing potential for wildland fire starts, Eldorado National Forest officials are announcing that fire restrictions will be implemented throughout the Forest effective July 3. These restrictions will affect the use of campfires, stoves, smoking materials, and internal combustion engines, and will remain in effect until November 30, 2024.

“As fuel conditions continue to dry through the Eldorado National Forest we will be entering fire restrictions. Human caused fire continues to be the leading cause of destructive wildfires.” said Deputy Fire Chief Lani Brown. “As forest visitors head into their favorite camping and recreation spots it’s important to understand and follow these fire restrictions to reduce the opportunities for a dangerous fire start.”

Effective July 3, per Forest Order 03-24-09 the following restrictions will be in effect:

  • No open fires, campfires or charcoal fires will be permitted outside of designated Developed Recreation Sites listed in Exhibit A, even with a valid California Campfire Permit. Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel will be permitted, but only with a valid California Campfire Permit, which can be obtained free-of-charge at www.readyforwildfire.org/permits.  Forest visitors must clear all flammable material for five feet in all directions from their camp stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person always attends the stove during use.
  • Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or a designated Developed Recreation Site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  • Internal combustion engines must have an approved spark arrestor that is correctly installed, maintained, and operating properly.

The fire restrictions forest order with the list of exempted recreation sites (Exhibit A) can be found on the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado under the regulations section.

Forest Updates and Safety Reminders:

  • Campground Status – With the exception of Camino Cove Campground on Union Valley Reservoir, all campgrounds are now open.
  • Hell Hole Campground has reopened just in time for the Fourth of July! The campground has been closed since the winter of 2020 when it was severely damaged by major windstorms. Over the last year, Forest Service staff have removed nearly 100 trees that snapped in half, were uprooted, or were otherwise severely damaged. Forest Service staff from both Eldorado National Forest and Tahoe Basin Management Unit joined together with an American Conservation Experience trail crew to complete these extensive repairs.
  • Ice House Road Pavement Rehabilitation Project: El Dorado County will be reconstructing over 17 miles of Ice House road from Peavine Ridge Road to the northern intersection of Wentworth Springs road this summer. Expect delays during the week from 30 minutes to an hour. www.eldoradocounty.ca.gov/Land-Use/County-Projects/Road-Transportation-Projects/Ice-House-Road-Pavement-Rehabilitation.
  • Post-fire hazards: Fire killed trees are a hazard in the Caldor and Mosquito burned areas. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid areas with hazard trees that could fall especially on windy days. Drive safely and look out for large logging trucks.
  • Cold / swift water safety: Rivers and streams are running high, fast and cold from melting snow. Lakes will be extra cold too. Hypothermia from exposure to cold water can be life threatening for you and your pets.
  • Campfire permits: Obtain a campfire permit if you are not camping in a developed campground and check for fire restrictions which may affect your visit. California Campfire permits are free of charge online at www.readyforwildfire.org/permits . Never leave a campfire unattended and make sure campfires are drowned out before you leave.
  • Bear safety: Remember that the forest is the natural habitat for bears. To reduce or avoid bear-human conflict please properly store your food and other scented items. Use metal storage lockers if provided. Bear resistant canisters are required when camping in Desolation Wilderness. Review other food storage and safety tips at www.fs.usda.gov/visit/know-before-you-go/bears and www.bearwise.org
  • Stay on the Road: Visitors are also reminded that motor vehicles are a potential ignition source and are allowed only on designated National Forest System roads, routes, trails and areas identified on the Eldorado National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM).

For the latest updates and more information, contact our Visitor Services team at:

  • Forest Supervisors Office – 530-622-5061
  • Georgetown Ranger District – 530-333-4312
  • Pacific / Placerville Ranger District – 530-644-2324
  • Amador Ranger District – 209-259-3774

To stay updated on forest related information visitors should follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/eldoradonf  and “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EldoradoNF.

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