In the FORESTS JULY 4th Weekend 

Fire Patrols Responded to

18 Additional

ILLEGAL Campfires


San Bernardino, CA ___ US Forest Service Fire Fighters, with the assistance of the Big Bear Fire Crews, were dispatched at approximately 10:15 A.M. Tuesday, July 6th in the forest, to a vegetation fire south of the City of Big Bear Lake.  

A small fire, approximately 30 ft. X 30 ft. in size, was found off Mill Creek Road (Forest Service Road #2-N10), between Camp Osito (2-N17) and Kidd Creek (2-N86) roads. Local visitors were on scene trying to put out the fire.

The cause of the fire was determined to be an illegal campfire that escaped into surrounding vegetation. It was placed atop dry pine needles, causing it to spread under a campfire ring made from rocks. The illegal campfire was within 100 feet of a sign that said, NO Campfires.

Numerous signs with the same prohibition are posted around the area. Citronella tea candles and small pop-it fireworks, both which are prohibited, were also found at the scene. 

"Dispersed campfires are not allowed and this is exactly why," said Michael Koontz, the Acting Division Chief for the Mountaintop Ranger District. "We really need the public’s help in abiding by our fire restrictions."  

Eighteen (18) additional illegal campfires were addressed by fire patrols this past holiday weekend across the National Forest. Those cited for building, maintaining, attending, or using an illegal campfire must appear in federal court for a hearing.  


Fines can be up to $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a group. 


 Another illegal campfire escaped on May 30 off John Bull Flat Road (3-N10). 

Current fire restrictions only allow campfires in rings provided by Forest Service at developed campgrounds with full-time camp hosts. If conditions continue to worsen over the fire season, even those campfires may be prohibited later this year. As such, visitors should always check fire restrictions before heading out each time. 

Learn more about the Forests that you may live, play in and visit. 

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“… San Bernardino National Forest personnel reminds visitors, they play an active role in minimizing fire starts,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Tom Hall. “Given the drought conditions across the state, we want to ensure visitors are mindful of local fire restrictions, so everyone can have a safe, holiday weekend.”

Other fire restrictions include the prohibition of campfires, open-flame BBQs/grills and smoking, except at a limited number of campgrounds and picnic areas with full-time hosts. Visitors are not now allowed to park their vehicles on vegetation or run generators off Forest Service roads.

A complete list of all fire restrictions are on the Forest Service website:   

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