SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - With scorching temperatures heating up the Central Coast, the increasing risk of wildfires has prompted Los Padres National Forest officials to implement Level II fire restrictions effective immediately.
“The moisture levels are approaching a critical threshold. Combine that with warm temperatures and high winds and we have all the ingredients for fire starts,” Los Padres Forest Fire Management Officer Carrie Landon said. “The most important thing is for forest visitors to be aware of their surroundings and exercise caution when conditions are ripe for a wildfire.”
The new restrictions will affect the use of campfires, stoves, smoking materials and internal combustion engines. The restrictions will remain in place until the end of the fire season in late fall.
The following restrictions are in effect throughout all Los Padres National Forest as of Tuesday:
- No open fires, campfires or charcoal fires will be permitted outside of developed recreation sites or designated Campfire Use Sites even with a valid California Campfire Permit.
- Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel will be permitted, but only with a valid California Campfire Permit, which are available free-of-charge on the Forest website and at any Forest Service office.
- Forest visitors must clear all flammable material for five feet in all directions from their camp stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person attends the stove at all times during use.
- Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or a designated Campfire Use Site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
- Internal combustion engines may be operated only on roads or designated trails. This restriction is in effect year-round. Make sure your engine is tuned, operating properly, and has an approved spark arrester.
To view a complete list of campfire use sites, click or tap here.