Fire restrictions begin in Los Padres National Forest

Staff report

As wildland fire season approached, Los Padres National Forest officials implemented Level II fire restrictions that affect the use of campfires, stoves, smoking materials and internal combustion engines.

“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 rules will remain in effect until the end of fire season in late autumn.

Effective immediately, the following restrictions are in effect:

– No open fires will be permitted outside of developed recreation sites or designated campfire sites, even with a valid campfire permit. Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel will be permitted, but only with a valid campfire permit, which is available free on the forest website or at any Forest Service office.

– Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or a designated campfire site.

– Internal combustion engines may be operated only on roads or designated trails. This restriction is in effect year-round. Engines must have an approved spark arrester.

For a list of developed recreation sites and campfire use sites in Los Padres National Forest, or other information, visit or contact the Forest Service district office nearest you.