All wood and charcoal fires are prohibited anywhere in the Los Padres National Forest as of Tuesday, officials announced.
The heightened restrictions are due to extremely dry vegetation and increasing fire danger, according to spokesman Andrew Madsen.
Fires aren’t even allowed in campfire use sites, but people with Campfire Permits are allowed to use portable stoves and lanterns that use gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel within those designated sites.
Smoking is prohibited in all areas except within a vehicle, building or designated Campfire Use site.
Recreational target shooting is also banned in all areas, except with a special use permit, but hunting with a valid license is allowed during open hunting season. The restrictions will be enforced through the end of the declared fire season.
Fireworks are illegal year-round, as is operating a combustion engine without a spark-arresting device properly installed.
The forest has already had several fires already break out this spring and summer.
A cooking fire at the White Rock day-use area was the cause of the 1,984-acre White Fire, which burned through Santa Barbara’s backcountry in late May. Thousands of campers were evacuated when flames broke out Memorial Day and Paradise Road residents were kept out of their homes for two days.
There are two fires burning in the Los Padres National Forest now, though both were nearly contained as of Tuesday.
The Rancho Fire started in Kern County near Lebec around noon Friday and burned into the forest, reaching 722 acres by Sunday.
The Tassajara Fire started Wednesday near the Arroyo Seco Campground, which is east of King City, and burned 213 acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service.