Staff Report

Snow and rain across Los Padres National Forest have allowed the U.S. Forest Service to reduce fire restrictions from “extreme” to “high.”

Under “high” fire restrictions, campfires and charcoal barbecues are allowed, but only within designated campgrounds. Dispersed campfires are not permitted anywhere in Los Padres National Forest under the current fire restrictions.

Violators are subject to a fine of $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a group, as well as imprisonment for six months.

A California Campfire Permit is required for visitors using portable stoves and lanterns outside of designated campgrounds. These cooking and heating devices must be equipped with a shut-off valve and run on pressurized gas, liquid fuel or propane.

California Campfire Permits are available for free download from the national forest website, California Campfire Permits as well as a list of Campfire Use Sites is available at all National Forest offices.

The following prohibitions remain in effect until mid-January:

  • Operating an internal combustion engine except on a National Forest System road or trail or in designated campfire use sites.
  • Recreational target shooting.
  • Welding or operating any torch with an open flame.

Visitors with a valid Forest Products Removal Permit for fuel wood are exempt from the prohibition on operating an internal combustion engine when gathering fuelwood as specified on the permit.

For more information, call the Santa Barbara Ranger District at 805-967-3481.