Riverside County will close six hiking areas as a precaution against fire season

Riverside County is taking steps to protect the area during the fire season, including closing six hiking areas and suspending all burning permits for outdoor residential burning starting Monday.

Hiking areas that will be closed include:

  • Eagle Canyon/Tin Mine (east of Corona)
  • Steel Park (north of Lake Elsinore)
  • Canyon Bautista (southeast of Hemet)
  • North Mountain (south of Banning, north of San Jacinto)
  • Whitewater Canyon (east of Cabazon)
  • Ramona Bowl (south of Hemet); open daily from sunrise to noon

These closures will remain in effect until further notice, according to Cal Fire. Those who violate the order can face a minimum fine of $100 for a first offense.

Future shutdowns may be implemented due to weather, fuel moisture and the increased threat of fire, Cal Fire said. Maps of affected areas can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/hikingclosures

Also starting Monday, the suspension of open fires in Riverside County. The ordinance takes effect at 8 a.m. Monday and prohibits all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris, such as branches and leaves. Agricultural burning is permitted in the Palo Verde Valley and the Coachella Valley.

With dry and hot weather in the region, the order is one way for the county to hopefully combat fire danger during wildfire season.

“Wildfires in California continue to threaten our communities,” Cal Fire Director Joe Tyler said in a statement. “With conditions set for an early start to the 2022 fire season, it is imperative that we collectively take preventative action now to prepare, and we ask all Californians to do their part in wildfire preparedness. .”

Riverside County Fire Chief Bill Weiser added, “As we enter the summer months, we are experiencing critical fire behavior due to warmer temperatures and dry vegetation. We urge residents to abide by this suspension until I determine it is safe to resume burning open.”

Cal Fire encourages residents to prepare their homes for a wildfire:

  • Clear all dead and/or dying vegetation within 100 feet of structures
  • Landscape with fire-resistant plants and non-flammable ground cover
  • Find other ways to remove debris from the landscape, such as chipping or bringing items to a biomass energy or green waste facility

The burning permit suspension does not apply to campfires in organized campgrounds, for which a permit is required, or on private property.

Ema Sasic covers health in the Coachella Valley. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @ema_sasic.

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