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As of Dec. 4, the Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office has lifted fire restrictions for about 300,000 acres of public land in San Benito and other counties, due to the season’s reduced likelihood of wildfires. 

Recreational target shooting and campfires are now allowed on public lands with a valid campfire permit, unless otherwise posted, says a press release from BLM. 

Motorized access is still restricted at the Panoche Hills Special Recreation Management Area in San Benito and Fresno counties. The continued road restriction is in place to protect the endangered blunt nosed leopard lizards as they are released into restored habitat, prevent destruction of plant and wildlife habitat, and protect and preserve ongoing scientific studies, says the press release. 

Recreational non-motorized access is still allowed in the Panoche Hills area. 

The easing of seasonal fire restrictions applies to public BLM lands in San Benito as well as Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus counties.

“Public land visitors can again use campfires outside of developed campgrounds and posted recreation sites,” said BLM Central Coast Field Manager Zachary Ormsby. “However, we want to remain vigilant, and all do our part to prevent wildfires and promote ongoing scientific restoration efforts.”  

For more information on preventing wildfires and additional tips for keeping campfires and target shooting safe, visit ReadyForWildfire.org or call the Central Coast Field Office at 831.582.2200. The field office can also provide additional information on public lands available for target shooting. 

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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