Per Kathy Good, LPNS PIO, Goleta, CA:
Recent rains and cooler weather has reduced the risk of wildfires in Los Padres National Forest, and the Forest Service will lower fire restrictions effective December 5. In addition, the closure prohibiting public entry to portions of the Monterey Ranger District has been modified to allow access to some areas of the forest.
Starting Friday, campfires and charcoal barbecues will be allowed in all areas of Los Padres National Forest. A California Campfire Permit, available free of charge, is required to build a campfire outside of a designated Campfire Use Site. A list of Campfire Use Sites and information about how to acquire a campfire permit is available at all Los Padres National Forest offices and on-line at www.fs.fed.us/r5/lospadres.
Even though fire restrictions are being reduced for the winter months, Forest Supervisor Peggy Hernandez issued a reminder that fire season is year-round in Los Padres National Forest.
“History has shown us that we can experience a major wildland fire at anytime during the year,” said Hernandez. “A few days of hot, dry and windy weather could mean the return of very dangerous fire conditions.”
Due to safety hazards resulting from the Basin, Indians and Chalk Fires, most of the Monterey Ranger District, including the entire Ventana Wilderness, will remain closed to public entry through the winter. Hazards include falling trees and limbs, rockslides, and the potential for mudslides and flash flooding.
The following areas of the Monterey Ranger District will remain open:
• Campgrounds, day use areas and forest lands west of Highway 1 along the Big Sur Coast
• Plaskett Creek campground
• Nacimiento-Fergusson Road and Ponderosa campground
• the Silver Peak Wilderness
• South Coast Ridge Road south of its junction with Prewitt Road (South Coast Ridge Road will remain closed from Prewitt Road north to Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.)
• the Arroyo Seco campground and day use area
For more information regarding the closure and conditions on the Monterey Ranger District, contact the King City office of the Forest Service at (831) 385-5434.