MORENO VALLEY, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management is temporarily closing public lands in and near Whitewater Canyon, Riverside County, due to the potential threat of wildfire. This public safety closure will start on Monday, June 18, and will remain in effect until further notice.

“A wildfire in an area with one-way public egress could cause significant risk,” said District Manager Beth Ransel, BLM California Desert District. “Severe burning conditions brought on by hot, dry weather; hazardous fuels; and the restricted nature of Whitewater Canyon make this closure necessary.”

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Approximately 4,000 acres of BLM-managed public lands are affected by this closure. A map and description is posted at the entrance to Whitewater Canyon and available on BLM’s website:
www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/california/fire-restrictions. A copy of the fire closure order is available on the website as well.

The public is reminded that it is illegal to enter and be upon public lands that are described and identified as the “Fire Closure Area.” Violation of this order is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 12 months, or both.

Visitors using Whitewater Canyon Road as a means of accessing the Whitewater Preserve are not affected by this closure. Other uses of the canyon are exempt from the closure as specified in the order.

For more information, contact the BLM California Desert District Office, 951-697-5200, or the BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office, 760- 833-7100.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016 – more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 372,000 jobs.

Source: BLM

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