Tinder dry conditions have prompted rangers in Los Padres National Forest to add further restrictions for those traveling onto Forest Service Land.
Rangers will now enforce "Level 4" fire restrictions, which include:
- Wood and charcoal fires are banned in all areas including designated campfire sites. Visitors with a valid Campfire permit will be allowed to use portable stoves and lanterns that are powered by gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel. Those uses are limited to Campfire areas only, and there must be five feet of clear space around the device used for cooking or lighting, with a shovel handy. Camp equipment must not be left burning when not being used.
- Smoking is banned in all parts of the forest except inside a vehicle, a building, or at a designated Campfire site.
- Fireworks are banned at all locations within Los Padres National Forest.
- Recreational target shooting is now banned in all parts of the Forest unless authorized with a special use permit. Hunting will be allowed during open hunting season but only with a valid permit.
- Use of any engine that doesn't include a working spark arresting device is banned.
Park rangers can cite violators with fines as high at $5,000. Those found to have caused a fire could be liable for the cost of fighting it, and could face up to six months in jail.
The restrictions will remain in effect until fire season is declared over.