Snow and rain across Los Padres National Forest has provided sufficient moisture levels to reduce fire restrictions on the forest effective immediately.

Under the reduced fire restrictions, campfires and charcoal barbeques will be allowed in all areas of Los Padres National Forest. A California campfire permit, available for free, is required to build a campfire outside of a designated campfire use site. A list of campfire use sites and information about how to acquire a campfire permit is available at all Los Padres National Forest offices.

Visitors who construct wood or charcoal fires outside of designated campfire use sites also must abide by the following rules:

» Clear all flammable material for a minimum of five feet in all directions

» Have a shovel available for preparing and extinguishing the fire

» Have a responsible person in attendance at all times

» Extinguish the fire with water, using the “drown, stir and feel” method

Prohibitions on smoking and target shooting in Los Padres also are being lifted.

“As we move into the rainy season and relax some of our restrictions, it’s important to remind the public that fire can happen at any time of the year,” Los Padres National Forest Supervisor Peggy Hernandez said. “I strongly encourage all visitors to be aware of their surroundings and exercise caution while they are out in the forest.”

The following fire restrictions will remain in effect:

» Spark arresters are required on all off-highway vehicles, chainsaws, and other internal combustion engines and equipment

» A permit is required for all welding, grinding, cutting or use of explosives

» Tracer ammunition is prohibited at all times

» Fireworks are prohibited in Los Padres at all times and in all places.

Forest visitors are encouraged to call the local ranger station for more information on conditions and restrictions.

» Santa Barbara Ranger District — 805.967.3481

» Ojai Ranger District — 805.646.4348

» Mount Pinos Ranger District — 661.245.3731

» Santa Lucia Ranger District — 805.925.9538

» Monterey Ranger District — 831.385.5434

— Andrew Madsen is a public affairs officer for Los Padres National Forest.