It comes as no surprise that Forest and BLM officials have signed fire restriction orders.
A press release from the two agencies says that “in response to the increasing fire danger and fires already raging in California Inyo National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch and Field Manager for the BLM Bishop Field Office, Bill Dunkelberger, both signed fire restriction orders that have gone into effect immediately.
It was last year this week that the big Inyo Complex fire burned more than 30,000 acres above Independence and Big Pine over a period of several days.
With the goal to avoid a repeat of last year, fire officials issued fire restrictions below 9,000 feet in elevation on all Inyo National Forest lands, including wilderness areas, and all BLM public lands managed by Bishop.
Campfires, briquette barbeques, smoking and use of acetylene or other torches and any kind of explosives, are now restricted due to increased fire danger brought on by hot, dry weather and extremely dry conditions.
In many parts of the state, the fire season started early. The local restrictions are similar to those implemented throughout the west. Plus, fire fighting forces and equipment are spread thin due to the number of wildfires currently burning.
So, the special order has restricted campfires, smoking, and welding on public lands – in effect by Special Order.