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Here are a couple interesting articles from 2001 for comparison:

http://yubanet.com/ban.shtml

August 30, 2001

Full Campfire Ban on TNF

Recreationists Advised not to Enter TNF Lands South of Interstate-80

Nevada City…..A campfire ban throughout the entire Tahoe National Forest has been instituted by TNF officials effective tonight, August 30, at 6:00 pm until further notice. This ban includes campfires and BarBQ's in developed campgrounds, picnic areas, and other developed recreation sites as well as any campfires in the backcountry. Camp stoves and lanterns are still an option in both developed recreation sites and in the backcountry. A campfire permit is required for the use of stoves/lanterns outside developed recreation sites.

In June, fire restrictions went into effect that banned campfires outside developed recreation sites, but the fire danger has continued to escalate as the summer progressed. "We understand that this complete campfire ban will detract from the camping experience for National Forest visitors this Labor Day weekend, but the extreme fire conditions do not leave us any alternative. This ban is necessary based on dry forest conditions, continuing problems with abandoned campfires, and the fact that our fire fighting forces are stretched very thin," stated Steve Eubanks Forest Supervisor. This is the driest year since 1975 based on rainfall, moisture in the vegetation, and summer weather conditions. These campfire restrictions apply to all Tahoe National Forest System lands.

Also, due to the potential danger from the Star Fire, Forest officials are recommending that the public stay out of Tahoe National Forest System lands south of Interstate 80 and west of the Pacific Crest Trail. Exceptions to this advisory would include:

Big Bend Visitor Center, south of I-80;
Hampshire Rocks Campground, south of I-80;
Sugar Pine Reservoir and Big Reservoir (Morningstar) Campgrounds northeast of Foresthill;
The Rubicon-McKinney Jeep Trail on the southeast side of the Forest;
Rafting access at the Oxbow whitewater put-in site from the Mosquito Ridge Rd.
"We are instituting this advisory to protect public safety from the Star Fire which is currently burning in a northeast direction along the Middle Fork American River. If the fire continues to burn in that direction into the headwaters of the North Fork American River, then there is the potential for explosive fire conditions in two major drainages of the Forest. We are very concerned for the safety of hikers, bikers, horseback riders, etc. who may venture into the Forest over Labor Day weekend with this kind of fire danger; thus the need for a Forest Advisory," explained Steve Eubanks, Forest Supervisor.

This advisory does not affect private landowners, lessees, permit holders or firefighters/law enforcement officers with duties in the area. Fire conditions, however could continue to be extremely severe this weekend. "Our concern is that if the fire does become established in other drainages, the smoke filled canyons do not allow aerial search and rescue operations if someone was missing, as well as the concern for their safety around a major wildfire," continued Eubanks. The advisory is in addition to the road closures already in effect leading into the French Meadows and Hell Hole Reservoir areas. This advisory may become mandatory based on the behavior of the Star Fire in the next few days.

For more information, contact any of the following Ranger Stations throughout the TNF:

Forest Headquarters/Nevada City Ranger Station - (530) 265-4531
North Yuba Ranger Station - (530) 288-3231
Sierraville Ranger Station - (530) 994-3401
Truckee Ranger Station - (530) 587-3558
Foresthill Ranger Station - (530) 367-2224


And:
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/01/smn.11.html

CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Tahoe National Forest Bans Campfires
Aired September 1, 2001 - 09:05 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Over the Labor Day weekend, lots of people are heading to campgrounds and campsites in the state of California and other places in national forests. But those on their way to Tahoe National Forest will find posted signs that ban campfires.

Bianca Solorzano of our affiliate KCRA has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BIANCA SOLORZANO, KCRA REPORTER (voice-over): This holiday weekend, you'll find a lot of people camping and relaxing in the Tahoe National Forest. But what you won't find are campfires.

National forest officials started posting signs of a full fire ban, and drivers heading up I-80 also saw warning signs. Claris Goulart just found out when she pulled into her campsite.

CLARIS GOULART, CAMPER: In fact, I wasn't surprised when I saw him put the sign up. I'm really not surprised, not with all the fires that we've had.

SOLORZANO: The ban is also effective in developed campgrounds, picnic areas, and other developed recreation sites.

PHIL SEXTON, TAHOE NATIONAL FOREST: Basically, wood and charcoal fires are not permitted on any national forest lands on the Tahoe right now. Gas stoves are still OK on any lands and in campgrounds with a California campfire permit.

SOLORZANO: The decision to ban campfires is a rare one, and it comes because of continued dry conditions.

(on camera): National Forest Service officials say the conditions are so dangerous right now that if you were to start a campfire and any of the embers hit nearby dry fuel, there is a 90 percent chance that you would start a fire.

>> Yet no closure of Fordyce, let alone the entire forest.

BYRON PIPKIN, DISAPPOINTED CAMPER: And every weekend we have a ban on campfires, and every weekend we have small fires that start from that.

SOLORZANO (voice-over): While the decision is based on stopping the spread of fires, it still disappoints many campers. This San Jose couple was looking forward to a weekend of hot s'mores and romantic campfire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was disappointed. Campfires are one of the big aspects of camping, so I understand you don't want to have a forest fire. But hopefully if people can control them in their little firepits, it'd be nice to have.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
 

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Yes I saw the video, did you see what he was trying to light, a green branch off a live tree. Do the same thing to the duff that is all over the ground and see what happens. There would be a ground fire that would ignite the low bushes that would burn hot enough to dry the live trees out enough to start a firestorm. If you think that small amount of rain they had is enough to take care of the drought conditions that are throughout the state, I have some ocean front property in Nevada I want to sell you.

Yes, I am pissed at the closure and really hoping that it is not a sign of things to come. Get active let the voices be heard. A bunch of rough and tumble wheelers sure as heck should be able to make more noise then a bunch of gay greenies!!!!
OOP'S, that dead dry crap is always on the ground, even in wetter years. If you soaked a pile of that stuff in a tub of water and then set it out on the ground in the sun, it would dry up in a day. It is the water content in the living forest vegitation that they are looking at for water content.
 
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