SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Warm temperatures fueled a fast-moving wildfire in East County last week and now federal officials are taking action.
In the wake of the Gate Fire, which ignited May 20, the Bureau of Land Management has issued new restrictions for Southern California counties, including San Diego. The restriction area covers a large section from the border to Riverside County.
The Gate Fire started on federal land - known for its fire risk.
The Bureau of Land Management Friday issued a stage three fire restriction, banning open fires and shooting. That action came days after County Supervisor Dianne Jacob wrote the agency asking for additional restrictions.
“I don't know if the recent action is a response to my request and the residents’ request in this area, but it certainly does recognize that finally, finally BLM recognized the fire risk,” said Jacob.
The restriction applies to four million miles of federal land including areas scorched by the Gate Fire.
Firearm use is of particular contention for some residents after complaints some shooters fire guns in restricted areas.
Jacob praised the BLM's new restriction, but adds it comes down to enforcement and future tailoring to high risk areas like Dulzura.
“We were lucky this time. No one was hurt, no property was damaged,” continued Jacob. “This is a wake up call and certainly it's a solution for now, but we're looking for a long term solution for this area.”
The restrictions are in place until further notice.
Anyone violating the restrictions could face a fine up to $1,000 or a year in jail.