RENO, Nev. (AP) - Campers and backpackers will have to be more careful than usual if they want to light fires or cigarettes starting Monday. That's when strict fire restrictions go into effect in Nevada and the Sierra.
Cooking fires and smoking materials are banned outside developed campgrounds in Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service or Nevada Division of Forestry jurisdictions until further notice.
The restrictions are being imposed about a month earlier than usual because of the dry winter. Grass already is turning brown and brush and trees contain very little moisture.
Under the restrictions, campfires are banned outside developed recreational areas, although portable stoves using white gas or propane are permitted.
Smokers have to keep their cigarettes in their vehicles or at campgrounds.
Fireworks of any kind -- including sparklers -- are banned. They are illegal anyway.
People found guilty of starting a fire could be fined, jailed and billed for all suppression costs.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.