High fire danger on Central Coast

Restrictions in place for backcountry areas

High fire danger on the Central Coast

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - HIgh heat, low humidity, gusty winds and dry vegetation are creating "perfect storm" conditions for wildfire on the Central Coast.

The Forest Service is putting manpower and firefighting resources in place with the current weather conditions expected for a few days.

Of particular concern are the backcountry and canyon areas on the Central Coast and the homes that lie within them.

"We do have extremely gusty winds forecasted for the next few days and lots of available fuels that are readily available for new fire starts", said Mark Babieracki with the U.S. Forest Service, "so conditions are prime."

Recent fire activity on the Central Coast has shown how vulnerable the region is to wildfire that can spread very quickly in dry, windy conditions.

"It can move at a very high rate of speed and cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time", Babieracki said, "so its very dangerous for the public as well as the responders."

The public is reminded of Level III fire restrictions in place for the entire Los Padres National Forest that restrict the use of campfires, stoves, lanterns, smoking and the use of vehicles.

Target shooting is prohibited.

"They should be vigilant and careful when they are out recreating in the Forest especially in the backcountry", Babieracki said.

Violating fire restrictions can result in steep fines and or arrest.

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