In case you haven’t heard, California is in the throes of a three-year drought. What that means for the Sierra foothills region is that vegetation is tinder-dry and even a tiny spark could ignite a firestorm.
In an attempt to ensure this doesn’t happen, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have take its annual fire restrictions to the next level. That means sitting around a campfire at elevations below 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) is out of the question (except in the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park, which is below 6,000 feet but has lower fire danger than the foothills).
Absolutely no wood or barbecue fires are allowed in Sequoia National Park at Potwisha, Buckeye Flat, or South Fork campgrounds or the Ash Mountain or Hospital Rock picnic areas. In addition, no wood or barbecue fires are currently allowed in the parks’ wilderness or backcountry areas below 6,000 feet.
And now would be a great time to quit smoking. No smoking is allowed below 6,000 feet at any of the aforementioned campgrounds and picnic areas (except Cedar Grove). Smoking at these elevations is only permitted within an enclosed vehicle or in a designated smoking area.
Gas, propane, alcohol, and tablet/cube stoves are allowed at all park campgrounds and picnic areas and throughout all elevation zones in the wilderness.
These fire restrictions will remain in effect until further notice, which most likely won’t occur until fall when the weather cools and, hopefully, there is significant rainfall.