BLM California News.Bytes Issue 921

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news bytes - bureau of land management californiaView of rocky, desert hillsides with yucca plants and other shrubs.

Clark Mountains, Needles Field Office
Photo by Jenna Moore, BLM - 2020 Photo Contest

ISSUE 921- September 25, 2020

Headlines & Highlights

A sunset above a coastal mountain range, with text that says National Public Lands Day September 26, 2020.

National Public Lands Day: enjoy public lands fee-free this Saturday

National Public Lands Day is tomorrow! In celebration of this special day, we invite you to enjoy public lands fee-FREE! On Saturday, September 26, you can connect with thousands of outdoor enthusiasts across the country to celebrate America's public lands. Whether volunteering in-person or virtually, this day showcases the breathtaking beauty and cultural significance of America's public lands. (BLM CA Facebook)

Green hillsides with a few cows.

BLM releases proposed plan for Cotoni-Coast Dairies that includes fire prevention

The Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office has released its Cotoni-Coast Dairies proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Assessment for the California Coastal National Monument that will provide management direction for Cotoni-Coast Dairies public lands in Santa Cruz County. Today’s announcement begins a 30-day protest period and 60-day Governor’s consistency review. (BLM CA News Release)

Horse walking in a corral.

Successful online horse adoptions

The Bureau of Land Management California took part in the Wild Horse & Burro Online Corral Sept. 1-8, which is a national program where inmate-trained saddle horses find new homes. The Online Corral provided a better way to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro on the Internet and have them delivered to a pick-up location near you. For more information on how you can adopt a wild horse, please visit the Wild Horse & Burro website  (BLM CA Facebook)

Car parked in a field behind a No Vehicles sign.

Park in approved areas

Don’t be like these visitors! Not only does parking on vegetation and sensitive areas destroy those plants and leaves bare areas. It is also a serious fire hazard as the exhaust pipes from vehicles can start a wildfire. When arriving at a recreation area, please park in approved areas without blocking emergency access or roadways (BLM CA Facebook)

People walking across a slow moving creek with mountain range in the background.

New BLM virtual series for K-6th graders!

Check out this fantastic program from Bureau of Land Management Alaska designed for K-6th graders to participate in a virtual series and learning opportunity! The Alaska Explorers program is held every Wednesday through zoom where they will be teaching a different topic to any K-6th student that registers. To learn more about their virtual series, please visit BLM Alaska's Activity Calendar.

A dirt road in a desert.

Desert View Conservation Area:
Joshua Tree, California

This hidden mountain biking and hiking destination is located just outside of Joshua Tree National Park. The Desert View Conservation Area, also known by the Bureau of Land Management as “Section 6,” is currently managed by the San Bernardino County Special Districts Department. The area was originally intended to become a robust recreation park area similar to Joshua Tree National Park. Read more: Atlas Obscura

Man in top of lighthouse.

Right time, right place: Woodward garners lighthouse honors

Jim Woodward’s phone call in early August to Mike Vogel, president of the U.S. Lighthouse Society, was perfectly timed. When Vogel answered the call and heard it was Woodward, he said “I was just about to call you.” The reason: Vogel wanted to tell Woodward that he and two others were being honored with the 2020 F. Ross Holland Lifetime Achievement Award by the U.S. Lighthouse Society and U.S. Lighthouse Council that was established 20 years ago. Only 13 individuals have previously been honored with this award, which is considered the lighthouse preservation community’s highest honor. (Green Valley News)

Wear proper gear with image of lifejacket.

Practice water safety!

If going out on the water this #weekend, be sure to use proper safety gear! Wear a Coast Guard approved life vest at all times when you are on or near the water. Kayakers and canoeists should wear helmets at all times. Please remember to #RecreateResponsibly!  (BLM CA Facebook)

Wildland Fire & Fuels Management

Male firefighter with helmet on.

Firefighter killed while battling El Dorado fire is identified; ‘Charlie’ Morton called a respected leader

A crew boss with the Big Bear Hotshots has been identified as the firefighter who died Thursday while fighting the El Dorado wildfire, started by a smoke bomb ignited during a gender-reveal event in a Yucaipa park.

Charles Edward Morton, 39, died Thursday while battling the blaze in the San Bernardino Mountains, San Bernardino National Forest officials said. He had worked as a firefighter for 18 years, 14 with the U.S. Forest Service. (The Sun)

Fire engines on the side of a highway.

Crews quickly put out Highway 395 vehicle fire with BLM assist

Thanks to a quick response, a vehicle fire that spread into some vegetation on Highway 395 near Dripping Springs Ranch was quickly extinguished Tuesday, Sept. 22. Crews quickly put out a vehicle fire that spread onto the shoulder and up to a fence on Highway 395 Tuesday, Sept. 22. According to a post from the Susanville California Highway Patrol, at about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday a pick up truck being towed by a motorhome suddenly caught fire for unknown reasons on Highway 395. (Lassen News)

Firefighter standing on a ridge looking into a canyon.

National Fire News

The National Interagency Fire Center mobilized Mexican fire crews and additional fire support from Canada and the U.S. Military today. For over 35 years, the U.S. has maintained arrangements for efficient resource sharing during peak fire activity with both Canada and Mexico. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has also been a key wildland firefighting partner for decades, providing aircraft and personnel to serve as wildland firefighters. Since 1987, active duty military personnel have been mobilized to serve as wildland firefighters a total of 38 times. (NIFC Facebook)

Firefighters wrapping a house in tin foil.

Why are they wrapping that house in tin foil?

This group of firefighters was tasked with a special project to protect a historical building. To protect structures from potential fire threat, there are many tools that firefighters can use, including the use of a protective wrap that looks like tinfoil to cover a structure. The wrap is specially designed to reflect radiant and convective heat away from the structure. By surrounding the building completely there is nowhere for embers to make contact and ignite the protected surface. (BLM CA Facebook)

people getting on an airplane.

Thank you to our Alaska partners for the wildfire assistance

Members of the Type 1 Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team board a plane in Fairbanks headed for Anchorage, then Redding, Calif. on Sept. 16, 2020. The team is slated to take over managing the northern zone of the August Complex in northern California on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. We appreciate the help! (BLM CA Facebook)

Map of current wildland fires in California as of September 25, 2020.

For the latest info on current wildfires in CA, visit these helpful websites:

- Inciweb 
- Cal Fire
- National Fire Situational Awareness Tool 

Remember to follow your local fire & law enforcement agencies on social media for updates specific to your area and heed all evacuation warning & orders.

While fire activity remains high, please visit our social media pages to get the latest fire map every day:

Facebook or  Twitter

Map of the US showing the fire outlook in red.

Wildland fire outlook

Check out the latest #WildlandFireOutlook! Available here. (BLM Fire Facebook)

Current Fire Restrictions & Closures

Graphic that says BLM Fire Restrictions on Public Lands

BLM California has issued season fire restrictions due to increased wildland fire danger in the state. Here’s an interactive MAP showing all current fire restrictions. Be sure to bookmark it for future use!

Due to high fire danger, fire restrictions were increased on BLM-managed public lands to prohibit use of all open flames, including campfires, BBQ’s and stoves in Northern and Central California, in addition to the statewide fire prevention order and local district fire and target shooting restrictions. For information about Southern California, see restrictions listed for California Desert District on our Fire Restrictions website:

Seasonal target shooting restrictions are in effect for the Redding Field Office, portions of the California Desert District and all of Central California District. The target shooting restrictions do not apply to individuals with a valid State of California hunting license participating in hunting seasons in areas established by the state.

Temporary Emergency Closures

Two hikers and their dogs on a trail.

Previous closure of the Pacific Crest Trail due to Valley Fire lifted

The Bureau of Land Management Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office has rescinded a closure order restricting access to a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail managed by the BLM in the vicinity of the #ValleyFire in the Lawson Valley and Japatul areas in San Diego County. (BLM CA News Release)

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument and adjacent areas
San Joaquin River Gorge Recreation Area
Case Mountain Recreation Area

Question of the Week - Wildlife

Hummingbird flying up to a flower.

What is the average resting heart rate for a hummingbird in beats per minute (bpm)?


1. 120 bpm
2. 250 bpm
3. 450 bpm
4. 600 bpm

Keep scrolling to find out!

Upcoming Events

An old railroad tunnel with a bike path through it.

National Public Lands Day is September 26th!

Volunteers are welcome to help spruce up the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail when the Bureau of Land Management and Lassen Land & Trails Trust host a National Public Lands Day project, this Saturday. Volunteer teams will work on improvements at the Depot, the adjacent Susanville Trailhead and caboose, and at the Hobo Camp Day Use Area and trailhead. Precautions associated with Covid-19 prevention will be in place, and projects will be designed with social distancing in mind. To find out how to volunteer, please visit this website. 

Oil field equipment.

Public comments for the oil and gas lease sale in Kern County are due by September 25th

The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office is seeking public comment on an Environmental Assessment for a December 2020 oil and gas lease sale. There are seven parcels totaling approximately 4,330 acres of Federal minerals proposed for lease. All parcels are located in or adjacent to existing oilfields in Kern County. (BLM CA News Release)

Question of the Week Answer

The answer is 2! The average resting heart rate for a hummingbird is 250 beats per minute (bpm). In flight, that rate rises to more than 1,200 bpm! Human heart rates, in comparison, average between 60-100 bpm at rest and 120-200 bpm when active.

Some of the hummingbird species of California are migratory, generally wintering in the southwestern US and Mexico and pushing northward and toward the coast for summer breeding. Anna’s Hummingbird can be found throughout much of California year-round, while Costa’s and Allen’s are primarily found in Southern California year-round. For hummingbird species to thrive, they need to find suitable habitat all along their migration routes, as well as in their breeding, nesting, and wintering areas. Even small habitat patches along their migratory path can be critical to the birds by providing places for rest and food to fuel their journey.

Hummingbirds play an important role in the food web, pollinating a variety of flowering plants, some
of which are specifically adapted to pollination by hummingbirds. Some hummingbirds are at risk, like
other pollinators, due to habitat loss, changes in the distribution and abundance of nectar plants (which
are affected by climate change), the spread of invasive plants, and pesticide use. 

Related: Backyard Habitat for Wildlife (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service brochure)