(Neb.)-Fire Restrictions In Place
Chadron- Effective immediately, the entire Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands are under Stage II Fire Restriction Orders due to extremely dry and hot conditions across the region and associated threat of wildland fires. The signed Forest Service Order restricts the following:
l) Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal grill, coal, wood burning stove or sheepherder's stove, including in developed camping and picnic grounds. EXCEPT: Devices using pressurized liquid or gas (stoves, grills or lanterns) that include shut-off valves are permitted when used in an area at least three feet or more from flammable material such as grasses or pine needles.
2) Smoking. EXCEPT: Within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building.
3) Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.
4) Operating or using any internal combustion engine (e.g. chainsaw, generator, ATV) without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order meeting either:
a) Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a; or
b) Appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350(a).
5) Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrestor, chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.
6) Using an explosive. This includes but is not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and tracers or incendiary ammunition.
7) Possessing or using a motor vehicle off established roads, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle.
Persons with a Forest Service permit or contract wanting an exemption to prohibitions 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 must submit a written request to the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands. Federal, State, or local officers and members of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty are exempt from Prohibitions 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
Travelers are reminded to follow Travel Management restrictions, including staying on designated roads and trails, only parking on bare spots and avoiding driving through tall grass that could ignite from the catalytic converter.
Violations are punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both.
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