Campfire safety: making positive summer memories

July 23, 2019

For many, a traditional campfire is a highlight of a summer camping experience. To ensure those memories are as pleasant as can be, the recreation team at Nevada Irrigation District (NID) has ramped up efforts to promote fire safe behavior in its campgrounds.


Each year about 200,000 people visit 15 NID campgrounds in the foothills at Rollins and Scotts Flat reservoirs, as well as higher in the Sierra at Jackson Meadows, Bowman, Canyon Creek, Sawmill and Faucherie reservoirs.
Campground fire education augments established rules for use, so campers can safely enjoy campfires in established BBQ pits and campground fire rings, and the watershed is protected from increased risk.

Among the rules and regulations for campfires:
* fires and coals cannot be left unattended
* fires must be extinguished before visitors leave their campsites or retire for the evening
* no open ground fires permitted on the shorelines.

Further fire restrictions may be imposed due to weather conditions, at which time, campfires and charcoal fires will not be permitted.

Significantly, after campers leave NID personnel inspect entire campsites, and not just fire rings, to ensure there are no lingering embers.

Before the summer season began, NID crews cleared 4-5 feet around all campfire rings and removed brush and overgrowth around campsites to reduce the amount of fire fuel.

NID has taken additional steps to help educate both first time and seasoned visitors about fire safety and campfire regulations. Signs are posted at all campgrounds in both lower and upper divisions. The regulations are printed on the back of NID campground maps, which are given to all campers as they enter the facilities. Also, the information is sent out with all reservation confirmations.

“Campers have been receptive to the campfire information,” said Monica Reyes, NID’s recreation manager. “In general, people have a heightened awareness of fire danger, and this camping season we’ve seen a good level of cooperation and respect for the rules.”

NID is proud to work with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the United States Forest Service to address fire risks, and set rules and regulations for its campgrounds.

At lower elevations, Rollins Reservoir features four campgrounds with a combined 250 campsites while Scotts Flat Reservoir has a combined 169 campsites for year-round fun. Seasonal recreation in the high Sierra reservoirs generally runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, depending on weather.

Learn more about NID recreation and camping here.

###