Fire Weather Information

Fire weather information is gathered from each of the Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) and is translated into public notifications about the potential fire danger and threats to public safety. These fire danger notification signs can be found in many of the parks and display the current level of dangerous fire potential.  Wildfires are potentially devastating to our parks, homes, and lives.  As the weather becomes hotter and dryer, our outdoor behavior must change due to the increased risk of fire during the fire season. 

Fire Danger Information Sign

A number of our parks have fire danger information signs near their entrances.Below are explanations to each fire danger level that you may see around the park.Please note that with each fire danger level are associated behavioral changes that can help us to avoid any additional fire threats.

Fire Danger Alerts

EXTREME

Level 2 Restrictions

 
  Fire Behavior: Fires start quickly, spread furiously, and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious. Development into high intensity burning will usually be faster and occur from smaller fires than in the very high fire danger class. Every fire start has the potential to become large. Expect extreme, erratic behavior.

Level 2 Restrictions: No open fires or barbeques of any type. Gas-fueled stoves are permitted in all areas. No cross-country driving. No use of gasoline powered equipment outside of irrigated areas*. Increase monitoring and patrol by Park Staff.
*Contractors may continue working on District lands provided they institute extra protection fire safety measures approved by the Fire Chief
VERY HIGH

Level 1 Restrictions

   Fire Behavior: Fires start easily from all causes and immediately after ignition, spread rapidly and increase quickly in intensity. Spot fires are a constant danger. Fires burning in light fuels may quickly develop high intensity characteristics such as long distance spotting and fire whirlwinds when they burn in heavier fuels. Both suppression and mop‐up will require an extended and very thorough effort. Outdoor burning is not recommended. Fire restrictions may be in effect at this level.

Level 1 restrictions: No campfires outside of designated day-use picnic areas, campgrounds or developed recreational areas. Barbeques permitted only in designated day-use picnic areas, campgrounds or developed recreational areas. Gas-fueled stoves are permitted in all areas. No cross-country driving, all vehicles must stay on roads. No use of gasoline powered equipment outside of irrigated areas. Increase monitoring and patrol by Park Staff.
 HIGH    All fine and dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and camp fires are likely to escape. Fires spread rapidly and short‐distance spotting is common. Fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small. Outdoor burning should be restricted to early morning and late evening hours.
MODERATE   Fires can start from most accidental causes, but with the exception of lightning fires in some areas, the number of starts is generally low. Expect moderate flame length and rate of spread. Short‐distance spotting may occur, but is not persistent. Fires are not likely to become serious and control is relatively easy. Although controlled burning can be done without creating a hazard, routine caution should be taken.
LOW    Fuels do not ignite readily from small firebrands although a more intense heat source, such as lightning, may start fires in duff or punky (insect killed) wood.
Weather and fuel conditions will lead to slow fire spread, low intensity and relatively easy control with light mop‐up. There is little danger of spotting.
Controlled burns can usually be executed with reasonable safety. 

  

Is a short term, temporary warning indicating the presence
of dangerous combinations of temperature, wind, relative
humidity, fuel or drought conditions which can contribute
to new fires or rapid spread of existing fires. A “Red Flag Warning”
can be issued at any of the above Fire Danger levels.

Level 2 Restrictions: No open fires or barbeques of any type.
Gas-fueled stoves are permitted in all areas. No cross-country driving.
No use of gasoline powered equipment outside of irrigated areas*.
Increase monitoring and patrol by Park Staff.

The potential for severe fire weather exists in the near future.
A watch is used when there is a relatively low probability of
occurrence and less chance of verifying. A Fire Weather Watch

normally will be issued 12 to 24 hours in advance of the expected
onset of severe fire weather conditions. The fire danger rating
is usually in the high to extreme category.

Fire Restriction Levels

When fire danger levels are “low,” “moderate,” or “high” there are no restrictions. However, many days from July through October may be rated "extreme" or "very high" and may lead to restrictions in the parks. Fire Restriction Levels are used together with fire warning and danger information to notify the public, contractors and park employees what activities are restricted due to the change in the fire danger.

Level 2: Extreme Level 1: Very High
General Operating Procedures during periods of Level 2 Restrictions include:

Parks will remain open with the following restrictions in effect:

A. No open fires or barbeques of any type. Gas-fueled stoves are permitted in all areas.
B. Vehicles are restricted to driving only on designated roadways; no cross-country driving.
C. No use of gasoline powered equipment (e.g. mowers in rough areas, weed eaters, chain saws, welders and generators) outside of irrigated areas, designated campgrounds or developed recreational areas. Maintenance of irrigated areas is permitted. Road grading is permitted provided extra protection fire safety measures approved by the Fire Chief are implemented.
D. Contractors may continue working on District lands provided they institute extra protection fire safety measures approved by the Fire Chief. Contractor operations must be directly supervised by a District representative to ensure specified extra protection fire safety measures are implemented.
E. Increase monitoring and patrol by Park Staff.
  1. Keep fire danger adjective signs current.
  2. Post appropriate fire hazard warning signs.
  3. Prepare and check all fire equipment for readiness.
  4. Notify all groups, special event participants, day-use visitors, campers, permittees, contractors and park employees of restrictions.
General Operating Procedures during periods of Level 1 Restrictions include:

Parks will remain open with the following restrictions in effect:

A. No campfires outside of designated day-use picnic areas, campgrounds or developed recreational areas. Barbeques permitted only in designated day-use picnic areas, campgrounds or developed recreational areas. Gas-fueled stoves are permitted in all areas.
B. Vehicles are restricted to driving only on designated roadways; no cross-country driving.
C. No use of gasoline powered equipment (eg. mowers in rough areas, weed eaters, chain saws, welders and generators) outside of irrigated areas, designated campgrounds or developed recreational areas unless extra protection fire safety measures approved by the Fire Chief are implemented.
D. Maintenance of irrigated areas and road grading are permitted.
E. Increase monitoring and patrol by Park Staff.
  1. Keep fire danger adjective signs current.
  2. Post appropriate fire hazard warning signs.
  3. Prepare and check all fire equipment for readiness.
  4. Notify all groups, special event participants, day-use visitors, campers, permittees, contractors and park employees of restrictions.

Park Closures

Park closures will only occur in the parks when both the fire department has limited resources to fight fire and the National Weather Service declares a Red Flag Warning. A Red Flag Warning is declared when there is a likelihood of hot, dry winds from the East, called Diablo Winds, or a prediction of lightning severe storms.

Remember to check the Park Closures and Notices page online for current fire weather conditions and parkland restrictions. If the sign or other public notice says the fire danger is "extreme" or "very high," please plan to take extra care.

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