From Alpine County:
Effective immediately, I am ordering that all outdoor fires, including campfires, bonfires, pit fires, charcoal fires, or any other open flame fires are hereby prohibited on all private lands throughout Alpine County. This prohibition shall be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors at their next meeting and each meeting thereafter and will continue until terminated by action of the Board.
This action is taken by the authority granted to me by Health and Safety Code 101040: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=101040.&lawCode=HSC
“The county health officer may take any preventive measure that may be necessary to protect and preserve the public health from any public health hazard during any “state of war emergency,” “state of emergency,” or “local emergency,” as defined by Section 8558 of the Government Code, within his or her jurisdiction.
“Preventive measure” means abatement, correction, removal or any other protective step that may be taken against any public health hazard that is caused by a disaster and affects the public health. Funds for these measures may be allowed pursuant to Sections 29127 to 29131, inclusive, and 53021 to 53023, inclusive, of the Government Code and from any other money appropriated by a county board of supervisors or a city governing body to carry out the purposes of this section.”
On March 17th, 2020, the Alpine County Board of Supervisors approved declarations of a ‘local emergency” and a “local health emergency” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These have been ratified as required at each subsequent meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
Restrictions on fires in the national forest lands in Alpine County have been in effect all summer due to ongoing drought conditions, well below average precipitation, and extremely dry conditions. This includes campfires, gas cooking stoves, and barbeques.
On September 7th, 2020, Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency in five California counties due to the existence of major wildfires which have collectively burned millions of acres across the State and hundreds of smaller fires.
On September 7th , the US Forest Service closed eight National Forests in Southern California and the Sierra Nevada due to extreme fire conditions.
On September 9th, the US Forest Service announced the imminent closure of all 18 national forests in California, including all developed and dispersed camping, day use areas, and trails.
On August 29th, the Slink Fire was first reported in Mono County, and has since spread into Alpine County.
For the last few weeks, numerous wildfires in nearby jurisdictions have contributed to the need for the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District to issue both Stage 1 and 2 Health Advisories due to the increased levels of small PM 2.5 particles in wildfire smoke which are dangerous to the public health.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the visitor population in Alpine County has swelled to unprecedented levels as folks attempt to flee to the mountains as a “safe haven” and escape from increased COVID risk in other jurisdictions. As a consequence, EMS, fire, and law enforcement calls have stretched staff to the limits of our local capability.
Therefore, in light of this increased visitor population, the lack of additional EMS, enforcement and firefighting resources, closure of all national forest areas, and extreme fire danger, I find it necessary to order this restriction on open fires in order to further reduce the likelihood of human-caused fires within Alpine County, and the consequent adverse effects on our resources and resident and visitor population.