With the arrival of hot weather, Los Padres National Forest officials have a few safety tips for Memorial Day weekend.

Water safety

· If you can’t swim, stay out of the water.
· Never swim alone.
· Supervise children at all times in and near the water.
· Do not swim after consuming alcohol or using drugs.
· Never slide, jump or dive from rocks into the water. Stay away from waterfalls.
· Be aware of hazards such as an uneven bottom, deep pools, strong currents, submerged rocks and vegetation, and broken glass or other sharp objects. 
· Do not use glass or other breakable containers in or near the water.
· Keep all litter, including diapers, out of the water. Dispose of litter properly.
· Always wear a life vest and helmet while rafting, tubing or engaging in other water craft activities.
· Remember that there are no designated swimming areas or lifeguards in Los Padres National Forest.

Fire safety

· A California campfire permit is required in all areas except designated campfire use sites. The permit and a list of campfire use sites are free at any Forest Service office.
· If camping in an area other than a campfire use site, build your campfire with at least 5 feet of clearance between the edge of the fire and the nearest vegetation. If camping at a campfire use site, use only the fire ring and stove provided.
· Never leave a campfire unattended; always extinguish your campfire completely before leaving the area.
· Be very careful when using cigarettes and other smoking materials.
· Do not park vehicles on grass or other vegetation, as hot exhaust systems can easily ignite dry vegetation.
· Make sure that chain saws, off-highway vehicles and other equipment with internal combustion engines have an approved and functional spark arrester.

For more information,

click here

to visit the Los Padres National Forest Web site.

Joe Pasinato is a Los Padres National Forest official.