California fire & Federal agencies introduce online permit application in addition to obtaining permits from any CalFire, U.S. Forest Service or BLM station or office.
This new service available to hunters and outdoors folk requires the applicant to watch a short 2.5 minute video, then answer 8 questions based on the video prior to printing their permit. This makes it extremely quick and easy to obtain a permit and in this day and age helps reduce pollution plus the expense of the gasoline to visit an office during the hours they are open.
The California Wildfire Coordination Group unveiled the new website - www.PreventWildfireCA.org
Campfire application and information can be found here
Given that two wildfires in recent history (One in the San Diego National Forest a few years ago, and the other the RIM fire near Yosemite last year) were started by hunters, it is extremely important that all hunters in California apply and obtain a fire permit, and study the law pertaining to campfires. For example many hunters think that gas stoves are not restricted, however this is not the case, the website clarifies many of these misnomers.
Extract from Prevent Wildfire website:
Campfire Permits are required for open fires, such as campfire, barbecues and portable stoves on federally controlled lands and private lands that are the property of another person.
On private lands, written permission from the landowner is also required for campfire use.
Instruction on how to build, control and extinguish fires can be found on the website as well as the video:
Camping Fire Safety - How to Build an Open Campfire
Select a level, open location away from heavy fuels such as logs, brush or decaying leaves and needles. Clear an area at least 10 feet in diameter (local regulations may vary). Scrape away grass, leaves or needles down to the mineral soil. Scoop a depression in the center of the cleared area in which to build the fire and put a ring of rocks around it. Cut wood in short lengths, pile within cleared area and light the fire. The fire should be built no larger than necessary. Your fire must never be left unattended and the fire must be extinguished completely before leaving.
While the Fire is Burning - Open Fire Safety
Always keep a shovel and bucket of water nearby at all times. While the fire is burning, be sure there is a responsible person in attendance of the fire at all times. Never leave children around a fire unattended.
How to Completely Extinguish an Open Campfire
Use the “drown, stir and feel” method: drown the fire with water, then stir around the fire area with your shovel to wet any remaining embers and ash. Be sure to turn wood and coals over and wet all sides. Move some dirt onto the fire site and mix thoroughly to fully smother it. And finally, feel the area with the back of your hand to ensure nothing is still smoldering. - See more at: http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfires/#sthash.rJzJz5MD.dpuf
Clear all flammable material away from the fire's edge 5 feet in all directions to prevent escape of the fire.
Have a shovel available at the campfire site for preparing and extinguishing campfires.
Have a responsible person in attendance at all times.
Extinguish campfires with water, using the drown, stir, and feel method.
These campfires tips can be found here
And in Spanish here
Another area not well understood by hunters is the law pertaining to wildfires whether accidental or willful:
Health and Safety Codes
13007. Liability for Damage. Any person, who personally or allows another person to willfully, negligently or in violation of law, set fire to, allows fire to be set to, or allows a fire kindled or attended by him or her to escape to the property of another, whether privately or publicly owned, is liable to the property’s owner for any damages caused by the fire.
13008. Due Diligence Required. Any person who allows a fire burning upon his or her property to escape to the property of another, whether privately or publicly owed, without exercising due diligence to control such fire, is liable to the owner of such property for the damages to the property caused by the fire.
13009. Expense of fighting fires, liability for. Any person who negligently, or in violation of the law, sets a fire, allows a fire to be set, allows a fire kindled or attended by him or her to escape onto any public or private property will be financially responsible for the firefighting costs.
Public Resources Code
4103.5 Campfire Defined - “Campfire” means a fire which is used for cooking, personal warmth, lighting, ceremonial or aesthetic purposes. This includes fires contained within outdoor fireplaces and enclosed stoves with flues or chimneys, stoves using jellied, liquid, solid, or gaseous fuels, portable barbecue pits and braziers, or space heating devices which are used outside any structure, mobile home, or living accommodation mounted on a motor vehicle. “Campfire” does not include portable lanterns designed to emit light resulting from a combustion process.
4432. Neglecting Campfire - A person shall not leave a campfire, kindled or attended by him or her, burning or unextinguished unless one of the following requirements are satisfied: He or she leaves some person in attendance. The fire is enclosed within a stove, oven, drum, or other nonflammable container, in such manner that the fire cannot escape from the container. No person shall allow a campfire, kindled or attended by him or her to spread after it is built.
4433. Permits Required - A person shall not light, maintain, or use a campfire upon any brush-covered land, grass-covered land, or forest-covered land which is the property of another person unless he or she first obtains a written permit from the owner, lessee, or agent of the owner or lessee of the property. If, however, campsites and special areas have been established by the property owner and posted as areas for camping, a permit is not necessary. A written campfire permit duly issued by or under the authority of the United States Forest Service is necessary for use on land under the jurisdiction and control of the United States Forest Service.
4434. Campfire Escape - The escape of any campfire from the control of any person who is maintaining the campfire is prima facie evidence that such person was negligent in maintaining the campfire.
Hunters must ensure that all and any campfires are completely extinguished before leaving camp, or before retiring to bed.
With California in a severe drought, remember it is your responsibility!