NEWS RELEASE

From The Office of Fire Chief Chip Prather

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Captain Stephen J. Miller, Public Information Officer, (714) 532-7269

May 27, 2003

2003 Fire Season Opens

The Orange County Fire Authority has announced that the 2003 Fire Season will officially be opened on Sunday, June 1 at 12:01 a.m.

In conjunction with the opening of fire season, hazardous fire areas located in unincorporated County territory and in the cities of Orange, Anaheim, Brea, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach will be closed to public entry beginning June 1. Fire Chief Chip Prather of the Orange County Fire Authority, in agreement with Chief Vincent Bonacker of the Orange City Fire Department; Chief Roger Smith, Anaheim Fire Department; Chief Ken MacLeod, Laguna Beach Fire Department; Chief Tim Riley, Newport Beach Fire Department; and Chief Alford Nero, Brea Fire Department; have jointly announced that the closures will be in effect until there is sufficient rainfall to reduce the fire hazard.

Signs will be posted in the affected areas and maps denoting specific boundaries will be available at fire department headquarters. Any questions regarding fire closure areas should be directed to the Fire Prevention Division of the respective Fire Departments. The closure does not restrict a property owner’s use of his/her own land. It is intended to protect landowners from trespassers who frequently cause wildland fires. The closure does not include the Cleveland National Forest, County and State Parks. Anyone interested in going to those parks should call the park for more information.

Chief Prather has stated that the following areas will be closed to public entry under authority of the Uniform Fire Code appendix IIa, as adopted by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and local city jurisdictions:

Area 1-North of the Brea city limits to the County line; between the Brea city limits and the Yorba Linda Wildland/Urban interface and east of the Yorba Linda Wildland/Urban interface to the County line, excluding Chino Hills State Park.

Area 2-South from the 91 freeway to O’Neill Regional Park; west from the Cleveland National Forest boundary to the following limits: Anaheim Hills city limits, Tustin city limits, Orange city limits; Irvine city limits; Lake Forest city limits; east of Rose Canyon to the Cleveland National Forest boundary; east of Dove Canyon to the Cleveland National Forest boundary; east of Coto de Caza to the Cleveland National Forest boundary; interface areas between Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza and Dove Canyon; from the southern tip of Coto de Caza south to the County line; west from the Cleveland National Forest boundary (or County line) to the following limits; Caspers Park is open except the area between the Ortega Highway and Lucas Canyon Road; also included are the following areas inside the Cleveland National Forest congressional boundary: Silverado Canyon, Williams Canyon, Modjeska Canyon, Trabuco Canyon.

Area 3-South of Bonita Canyon Drive, Sand Canyon Avenue, and the 405 freeway to Pacific Coast Highway; West of Laguna Canyon Road to Newport Beach (Corona del Mar) city limits.

Area 4--East of Laguna Canyon Road to the Aliso/Wood Canyons Regional Park; South of Aliso/Wood Canyons Regional Park to the Laguna Beach city limits.

Community Involvement Fire Prevention

In order to ensure the safety of community members visiting Wildland areas and Wildland parks, the Orange County Fire Authority offers the following fire safety tips:

*Smoking is prohibited in hazardous fire areas, even inside vehicles. *Keep matches/cigarette lighters away from children and prevent any misuse of these “tools”. *Discharge of fireworks is prohibited in the Wildland areas, all unincorporated areas and in most cities within Orange County.

Through the cooperative efforts of fire service agencies, the Orange County Fire Authority, and the community, we can prevent or reduce the potential loss of property, and threat to life safety caused by wildland fires. It is hoped that these suggestions will assist individuals in the prevention of wildland fires and help the OCFA create a fire safe, injury free community. If you have any questions or need fire safety information, please contact the OCFA Community Relations and Education Section at (714) 532-7266.

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