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Public Safety

Cleveland National Forest Institutes Heightened Wildfire-Prevention Rules

An extreme fire danger sign is posted at the entrance of Griffith Park in Los Angeles Monday, Oct. 23, 2017.
Damian Dovarganes / AP
An extreme fire danger sign is posted at the entrance of Griffith Park in Los Angeles Monday, Oct. 23, 2017.

To reduce wildfire hazards in the Cleveland National Forest, heightened seasonal restrictions were instituted Wednesday on visitors to the 460,000-acre Southern California nature preserve.

The rules, slated to remain in effect through the end of the year, are necessary due to "very high" wildland combustion threats stemming from drought, prevailing "critical fire weather," vegetation moisture at or below record levels and forecasts for protracted hot and dry conditions, according to forestry authorities.

RELATED: Wildfires Continue To Burn In San Diego County

The increased regulations consist of bans on the following activities:

• campfires, except within open, developed recreation sites;

• smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or within developed recreation sites;

• welding or operation of any torch with an open flame; and

• discharging a firearm, air rifle or gas gun, except by hunters during official hunting season by those possessing a valid state-issued license.

General restrictions in place throughout the year include:

• use or possession of fireworks or firecrackers;

• use of off-road vehicles, chainsaws or other internal-combustion equipment without spark arrestors; and

• discharge of steel-core, armor-piercing or tracer firearm ammunition.

Visitors to the forest, which includes terrain in San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties, are asked to be aware of prevailing wildfire conditions and to take appropriate prevention measures as necessary.

Further information is available online at fs.usda.gov/cleveland.