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Los Padres Forest Service Announces Campfire Restrictions

Rules prohibiting fires except in designated areas take effect Friday

The Forest Service Thursday announced new campfire restrictions across Los Padres National Forest, effective Friday, April 10. The building, maintaining, attending or using a campfire, stove fire or barbecue will be permitted only in approved recreation sites.

This forest service order was issued to enhance public safety and protect natural resources. Over the last 15 years, Los Padres National Forest visitor use has significantly increased – especially in dispersed camping and hiking activities – and accounts for a higher use of campfires and camp stoves.

Heavy forest fuel loads, Sudden Oak Death Syndrome, periods of extreme fire weather and the ongoing drought have dramatically heightened the risk of catastrophic wildfire. By issuing these restrictions, the forest service is acting to reduce the likelihood of an escaped campfire that could potentially threaten the millions of citizens who live in close proximity to the forest.

In the Santa Lucia Ranger District, the sites that do not require a permit for use of a campfire, stove or barbecue are:

» American Canyon Campground
» Baja Campground
» Barrel Spring Campground
» Bates Canyon Campground
» Brookshire Campground
» Buck Spring Campground
» Cerro Alto Campground
» Colson Campground
» Cumbre Day Use Area
» Davy Brown Campground
» Figueroa Campground
» Friis Campground
» Hi Mountain Campground
» Horseshoe Spring Campground
» La Panza Campground
» Miranda Pine Campground
» Navajo Campground
» Navajo OHV Staging Area
» Nira Campground
» Pino Alto Day Use Area, and
» Wagon Flat Campground

and in the Santa Barbara Ranger District, they are:

» Cachuma Campground
» Falls Day Use Area
» Fremont Campground
» Live Oak Day Use Area
» Los Prietos Campground
» Lower Oso Day Use Area
» Middle Santa Ynez Campground
» Mono Campground
» P-Bar Flat Campground
» Paradise Campground
» Red Rock Day Use Area
» Rock Camp
» Sage Hill Campground
» Upper Oso Campground, and
» White Rock Day Use Area

The forest service also reminds visitors that the use or possession of fireworks – including the “safe and sane” variety – is strictly prohibited at all times in Los Padres National Forest. Forest Service law enforcement officers will be vigilant in enforcing the new campfire restrictions as well as the fireworks ban, and violators are subject to a $5,000 fine or six months imprisonment, officials said.

Forest visitors are encouraged to contact local offices for specific information on each district. This order will be in effect until further notice, according to forest service officials. For more information, contact the Santa Barbara Ranger District, Paradise Road, Santa Barbara, 805.967.3481, or the Santa Lucia Ranger District, Santa Maria, 805.925.9538.

Noozhawk staff writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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