Furnace Creek Road has been closed to motorized vehicles under an interim order for more than four years, and it remains closed pending the outcome of the current plan amendment process. The proposal affects only the lower 3.75 segment of the road that is located on BLM managed lands, whereas the remaining 7.5 miles of the 100+ year old road remain closed by order of the Inyo National Forest.
This week marked the return of Death Valley as having the nation's hottest temperatures. Although Death Valley regularly enjoys this distinction for weeks, if not months, at a time during the summer, in the winter the temperatures are not only mild, but quite pleasant. With yesterday's temperature reaching 103 F degrees, it looks like summer has made its way to Death Valley.
Visitors should consult the Morning Report prior to visiting Death Valley so they are aware of the temperatures, and to dress and pack accordingly. Remember to drink plenty of water during your visit!
On May 15th the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) put in place their Stage I restrictions regarding the use of campfires and barbecues in the California Desert District. This is an annual occurrence in preparation for the hot and dry summer fire season. Normally, no permit is needed for campfires on the BLM's desert lands, but the State I restrictions now require everyone who wishes a campfire or barbecue to obtain an ordinary campfire permit from any BLM or Forest Service field office, fire or ranger station. The State I general area of influence includes BLM lands north and east of the Angeles, San Bernardino and Cleveland National Forests.
Remember that within Death Valley National Park, campfires are allowed only in provided fire pits within developed campsites. Backcountry campfires are not allowed at any time of the year, with or without a campfire permit. Any person convicted of knowingly or willfully violating a fire prevention order can be fined up to $1,000, receive up to 12 months in jail, or both. That person also is liable for the cost of damages and suppression of the wildfire.
For more information or to obtain a permit contact the BLM’s California Desert District Office at (951) 697-5200 or local field offices in Barstow (760) 252-6000 or Ridgecrest (760) 384-5400.