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June 26, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--Effective June 28, 2013 at 6:00 a.m., fire restrictions on the Cleveland National Forest will be moved to the “Elevated” level.  The increase in fire restrictions is due to dryer fuel conditions, higher temperatures, and the likelihood of small fires becoming larger fires. 

The purpose of fire restrictions is to reduce the risk of human-caused fires during high fire danger.  Fire restrictions impose limitations on forest users and are implemented only as deemed necessary to help prevent wildfires.

Under Elevated fire restrictions, the Forest Service restricts the conduct of activities that have historically caused wildfire starts on the Forest.  See list of Elevated Fire Restrictions.  Additionally, the Forest may close some areas within the Forest that are especially prone to the ignition of wildfires. 

The Cleveland National Forest fire restriction system works in conjunction with the daily Fire Danger Rating System, commonly referred to as the “Smokey Bear fire danger level.”  The Fire Danger Rating System is a scientific calculation that takes into account several factors such as fuels conditions, expected weather effects on fuels, burning indices, live fuel moistures, and energy release component calculations, to establish the likelihood of a fire starting within a 24 hour period.

The use of fireworks is NEVER allowed on the Cleveland National Forest!  “When you see a Smokey Bear sign that states the “Fire Danger Today is Very High,” you need to know that the likelihood of a wildfire starting, and then quickly developing into a large fire is a strong possibility,” stated Carlton Joseph, Fire Chief for the Cleveland National Forest.  “The public needs to be extremely careful when recreating within the Forest during periods of high, very high and extreme fire danger.” 

The fire restrictions level are posted on the Cleveland National Forest web site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/cleveland.

Contact your closest Forest Service office to find out the current information concerning fire danger across the Forest, and the level of fire restrictions currently in affect before you head into the Forest. 


“Know before you go!”

·         District offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00AM to 4:30PM.

·         For the Cleveland National Forest Supervisor’s Office call (858) 673-6180.

·         For Alpine, Descanso, and Laguna Mountain areas contact the Descanso Ranger District at (619) 445-6235.

·         For Palomar Mountain, Henshaw, Ramona, Temecula Valley and Oak Grove areas contact the Palomar Ranger District at (760) 788-0250.

·         For the Ortega Hwy area, San Mateo, Orange County and Corona areas contact the Trabuco Ranger District at (951) 736-1811.



Cleveland National Forest Elevated Fire Restrictions

1. Fireworks are never allowed on the Cleveland National Forest.

2. Spark arresters are required for all off-highway vehicles, chainsaws, and other internal combustion equipment.

3. Welding, grinding, cutting, the use of explosives, and other activities requiring a special use authorization may be restricted.

4. No wood or charcoal fires are allowed except in identified developed campgrounds and developed picnic areas within designated fire rings. 

a. Identified campground and picnic areas where wood or charcoal fires are allowed:

i. Descanso Ranger District

1.       Burnt Rancheria Campground

2.       El Prado Group Site

3.       Horse Heaven Group Site

4.       Laguna Campground

5.       Wooded Hill Group Site

6.       Boulder Oaks Campground

7.       Cibbets Flats Campground

8.       Desert View Picnic Area

9.       Pioneer Mail Picnic Area

ii. On the Palomar Ranger District

1.       Crestline Group Site

2.       Fry Creek Campground

3.       Oak Grove Campground

4.       Observatory Campground

5.       Dripping Springs Campground

6.       Indian Flats Campground

7.       San Luis Rey Picnic Area (no campfires/grills only)

8.       Inaja Memorial Picnic Area (no campfires/grills only)

iii. On the Trabuco Ranger District

1. All campground and picnic areas are open except for the Wildomar Campground, when the Wildomar Off-road Vehicle (OHV) area is closed.

5. The use of gas and liquid stoves and lanterns, and jelly petroleum stoves are allowed in all areas of the Cleveland National Forest except for the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness on the Trabuco Ranger District.

6. Discharge of firearms is prohibited on the Forest except for the purpose of hunting during the designated hunting season as established by the California Department of Fish and Game. Target shooting is not allowed on the Forest.

7. Discharging a firearm using the following ammunition is never allowed on the Cleveland National Forest, this includes hunting seasons: steel core ammunition, armor piercing ammunition, and tracer ammunition.

8. Smoking is prohibited within the Forest boundary, except within an enclosed vehicle or building or within a Developed Recreation Site.