RAW: High winds, dry conditions, make caution with campfires this weekend critical

Fire management officials from the Inyo National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office are asking visitors to be extremely careful with campfires over the Memorial Day Weekend.

Due to the extremely dry winter, above-normal temperatures and frequent strong winds here in the Eastern Sierra, vegetation is much drier and fire danger is much higher than normal for this time of year.

Campfires can and do start wildfires, so please observe the following precautions:

· Get a campfire permit from a local ranger station or visitor center.
· Don’t have a campfire on windy days.
· Never leave your campfire unattended.
· Drown (with water) and stir your campfire before leaving.

"Dry weather, gusty winds and low humidity levels are all that is needed for a spark to ignite dry grass. I am urging visitors to be vigilant while enjoying our public lands this holiday weekend," said Tim Dunfee, Deputy Fire Chief for the BLM.

For further information please contact Debra Hein, interagency fire mitigation specialist, at (760) 872-5057.