BISHOP, Calif., August 31, 2022 — With Labor Day weekend and an excessive heat watch approaching, the Inyo National Forest reminds visitors to recreate responsibly, plan ahead and prepare for any closures and fire restrictions. September also marks the start of National Preparedness Month, a time to prepare for disasters or emergencies that could happen at any time.
Although the Eastern Sierra can be a great place to beat the heat, the rising temperatures can still pose risks for campers and hikers from heat-related illnesses. Use sun protection, stay hydrated before you get thirsty, and plan early morning hikes to avoid the hottest part of the day. The forecasted high temperatures also mean vegetation will dry out faster and increase the chance of starting wildfires starting. Although forest officials will be extending the hours of firefighter staff, they still need your help in preventing wildfires:
- Campfires: Campfires, as well as BBQs that use wood and charcoal, are only allowed in designated, developed recreation sites and recreation residences or resorts (no dispersed campfires allowed). Gas-powered devices are allowed with a California Campfire Permit, including in wilderness or dispersed camping areas.
- Smoking: Only allowed within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or an area at least three feet in diameter cleared of flammable materials.
- Vehicles and power tools: Be sure to maintain your vehicle’s proper tire pressure, ensure adequate tire tread, and check brakes for overheating. Do not drive or park on vegetation. Do not drag chains while towing. Off-highway vehicles and chainsaws require a spark arrestor. No vehicles or tools (including chainsaws or lawn mowers) powered by internal combustion engines off designated roads or trails. If you have a valid wood cutting permit, you may only operate a chainsaw at certain hours. Call (760) 873-2555 for daily recorded wood cutting information.
Escaping to the mountains for a getaway into nature also means a higher responsibility in your outdoor ethics and safety. Forest officials remind visitors to follow the Inyo’s rules for dispersed camping and to “Camp Like a Pro.”
- Food storage: Never leave food, food storage containers or coolers, or cooking utensils outside of the provided bear boxes — even for a minute. If there is no bear box, secure these items hidden away in your vehicle. Never leave any food or toiletry items inside your tent. Watch this video: Bear Aware: Food Storage.
- Trash: Protect wildlife and our waters by using trash receptacles correctly; or, even better, pack out what you pack in. Trash receptacles may be full — reduce your waste by bringing reusable items wherever possible. At your campsite, look around for dropped items, like trash and toys left behind. Never bury trash, or even food scraps. Leave No Trace!
- Pets: Control pets at all times, or leave them at home considering the dangerously high temperatures forecasted. Dogs must be leashed in developed recreation areas. In wilderness areas, they must be under strict voice control and heeled at the owner’s side as if there was an invisible leash.
- Outdoor Safety: Prevent an unnecessary Search and Rescue operation. Practice safe hiking ethics and emergency preparedness ahead of time before you lose cell phone service. How to Report an Emergency
For any additional questions, please reach out to one of our visitor centers: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/about-forest/offices
The Inyo National Forest thanks you for taking the time to prepare for your safety this busy holiday weekend.
(From Inyo National Forest)