Pine Ridge Ranger District Enacts Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Starting July 2nd

Fire Managers on the Pine Ridge Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest announce Stage 1 Fire Restrictions for the Pine Ridge Ranger District.

The following acts are prohibited on all National Forest System lands within the Pine Ridge Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands in the State of Nebraska (the “Restricted Area”) and on all roads and trails located within the Restricted Area (the “Restricted Roads and Trails”), as shown on the attached map incorporated into this Order as Exhibit A.

The purpose of this Order is to protect public health, safety, and natural resources by preventing Wildfires.

PROHIBITIONS: The following acts are prohibited in the Restricted Area and on the Restricted
Roads and Trails:
1) Igniting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire (including fires fueled by charcoal or briquettes) outside of a permanent metal or concrete fire pit or grate that the Forest Service has installed and maintained at its developed recreation sites (campgrounds and picnic areas). 36 CFR § 261.52(a).

2) Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials. 36 CFR § 261.52(d).

3) Operating a chainsaw without an effective and properly installed USDA- or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)- approved spark arrestor, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (with a minimum 8 oz. capacity and rating of 2A) kept with the operator, and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use. 36 CFR § 261.52(j). United States Department of Agriculture

4) Blasting, welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame without being in a cleared area of at least 10 feet in diameter and keeping a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (with a minimum 8 oz. capacity and rating of 2A) with the operator. 36 CFR § 261.52(i).

5) Using an explosive. This includes but is not limited to fuses, blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, tracers, and incendiary ammunition. 36 CFR § 261.52(b). Pine Ridge Stage 1 Fire Restrictions July 02, 2022

Pursuant to 36 CFR § 261.50(e), the following persons are exempt from the prohibitions specified below:

1) Persons with the following authorizations are exempt from Prohibitions #1, #3, #4, and #5: (i) a valid Forest Service permit or contract specifically authorizing Prohibitions #1, #3, #4, and #5 in the Restricted Area or on the Restricted Roads and Trails in their physical possession and (ii) a written exemption with an appropriate mitigation plan authorized in writing by the appropriate Forest Service official.

2) Persons using either of the following devices are exempt from Prohibition #1: (i) a stove or grill solely fueled by liquid petroleum fuels; or (ii) a fully enclosed metal stove, grill, or sheep herder type stove with a chimney at least five feet in length and a mesh screen spark arrestor with a screen opening of ¼ inch or less.

3) Any federal, state or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty is exempt from Prohibitions #1, #3, #4, and #5.

Notice regarding Exemptions: The persons exempted above are on notice that they are responsible for conducting activities subject to these exemptions in a safe and prudent manner using extra precautions and are electing to proceed at their own risk. An exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for damage, injury or loss to the United States for any fire started while undertaking the exempted activity.

This Order becomes effective at 12:01 am on July 02, 2022 and remains in effect until December 31, 2022 or until rescinded, whichever event occurs first.

A violation of the prohibitions in this Order is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual, $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for more than six month, or both.