Smoking backpackers: leave your cigarettes at the trailhead this summer.

In fact, “the inner portion” of your car might be the only place you’re smoking, Six Rivers National Forest Fire Chief Mike Minton told KHUM today.

Don’t pack your welding gear into the backcountry, either.

Six Rivers National Forest is enacting fire restrictions that will affect everything from where car campers can make s’mores to what kind of stove backpackers can use. 

While forest fires do serve an essential role in the ecosystem, Minton is just asking that you don’t start your own.

So if you’re going camping on Forest Service land this summer, check in with them first, as you may need permits.

Minton explains to KHUM what’s happening and why:

Minton Audio 

From Six Rivers National Forest: 

Eureka, CA, July 9, 2013

Forest Fire Chief Mike Minton announced today that special fire use restrictions will be

 initiated on the Six Rivers National Forest effective Thursday, July 11, 2013. According to Minton, “conditions on the National Forest have transitioned to a point in the season where we are at a greater risk of wildfires becoming more difficult to contain.” He also stated that, “while lightning is the number one cause of wildland fire on the Six Rivers National Forest, human caused fires are a major concern.” Human caused fires, which range from escaped campfires, careless smokers, equipment use, vehicle exhaust, catalytic converters, or children playing with matches, are preventable. Initiating fire use restrictions will help minimize the potential of wildland fire starts.

Fire Restrictions will:

• Limit open campfires to Developed Recreation Sites and Designated Fire Safe Sites (see listing below). A free California Campfire permit is required for fires in the Designated Fire Safe Sites. They are not required in the Developed Recreation Sites.

• Limit smoking to enclosed vehicles, buildings, Developed Recreation Sites and within Designated Fire Safe Sites.

• Prohibit the use of internal combustion engines except on National Forest System roads or designated trails.

• Prohibit welding or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame.

• Prohibit the use of explosives.

Exemptions to the restrictions include:

• With a valid California campfire permit, the use of lanterns or portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid is allowed. Barbeque grills using briquettes are not allowed.

• With a valid fuelwood-cutting permit, a chainsaw can be operated for fuelwood gathering within the terms of the permit.

These restrictions exclude the Trinity Alps and the Siskiyou Wilderness areas. Further restrictions may be enforced at a later date. Before entering these wilderness areas, contact any of the following National Forest Offices; Eureka (707) 442-1721, Willow Creek (530) 629-2118, Gasquet (707) 457-3131, Weaverville (530) 623-2121 and Big Bar (530) 623-6106, for more specific information.