No Fireworks in the Los Padres National Forest

SOLVANG, Calif. – Los Padres National Forest officials are reminding Fourth of July visitors that the possession or use of fireworks—including the “safe and sane” variety—is always prohibited in the Forest. This year-round prohibition will be strictly enforced throughout the holiday weekend. 

A violation of the law could result in a $5,000 fine and/or six months in jail. In addition, anyone causing a wildfire is potentially liable for the full cost of suppressing the fire. 

The Forest asks that all visitors take the appropriate precautions to prevent accidental wildfires:

·         Campfires are permitted in developed campground (designated Campfire Use Sites) and outside of designated Campfire Use Sties. Campfires must always be attended by a responsible person and a valid California Campfire Permit is required to have a campfire or use of a portable stove or lantern using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel outside of designated Campfire Use Sites.

·         California Campfire Permits are available for free download from the Ready For Wildfire website. You must clear all flammable material for 10 feet in all directions from your camp stove, have a shovel and water available nearby, and ensure that a responsible person always attends the stove when it is in use.

  • Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or developed campground. 

·         Internal or external combustion engines require properly installed, functional spark arresters. This requirement is in effect year-round.

·         Avoid parking vehicles on grass, as hot engines can ignite dry vegetation.

·         Contact the Ranger Station nearest your destination for the latest conditions.

As always, the Los Padres National Forest reminds the public to plan ahead before visiting their local national forest and to recreate responsibly, including packing out your trash and only parking in designated areas.

Additionally, excellent tools and resources are available on the Recreate Responsibly website.

We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our national forests safe and healthy for everyone’s use.

New Outdoor Education Space Proposed in Andrew Molera SP by VWS

New Outdoor Education Space Proposed in Andrew Molera State Park

The Ventana Wildlife Society (VWS) is working with the State Coastal Conservancy California and State Parks to create a new group campground and support facilities for families to experience the beauty of Big Sur in Andrew Molera State Park, separate from the existing public campground. This proposed campground and accompanying facilities will be called Space for Meaningful Outdoor Recreation and Education or S’MORE. The project is in early development with work toward a coastal development permit, and including county and local review, underway. If approved, construction would likely occur in 2024/25. 

Since 1992 VWS has had a concession contract with State Parks to operate their outdoor education programs in Andrew Molera State Park. Today within Andrew Molera Park, VWS operates a visitor center, a field office for their wildlife biologists working to restore the California condor to the wild and a bi-lingual outdoor education program for youth and families in central California. VWS engages over 2,000 youth annually from throughout Monterey County with targeted outreach to increase equitable access for historically underrepresented communities in areas including the Salinas Valley and North Monterey County region. These bi-lingual outdoor education programs focus on families who face transportation, economic, or accessibility barriers to accessing the coast, providing everything needed for a positive experience. 

The S’MORE project site is located along the Big Sur River corridor and consists of grassland surrounded by oaks and sycamores. There are currently no formal tent sites or other campground amenities other than several fire rings, although the area has electricity and potable water. The proposed S’MORE site improvements will provide a picnic pavilion with a rustic kitchen, accessible parking, and a small amphitheater, and will enable VWS to expand programming and enhance experiences in nature for those most in need.

Interested in learning more or have thoughts to share? Please contact Kelly Sorenson, or visit

Caltrans Vegetation Management Plan

Thanks to Dave Nelson for the question and for forwarding the answer to me so I could post it.

From Kevin D, PIO for Caltrans:

Thank you very much for your inquiry.  In order for Caltrans to respond quickly to emergency road damage we utilize what is known as Emergency Opening funds that are reimbursed by the Federal Government at a substantial rate of 80 to 100 percent depending upon conditions and timeframes.  With the utilization of these types of funds we are constrained to the scope of work that is required to address the damage so that the roadway can be reopened for use by the travelling public in a timely manner.  This is limited to site restoration and erosion control in order to qualify for federal reimbursement.  Due the definition of Emergency Opening projects by the Federal Government and the extensive timeline for bonding requirements of the contractors, a 5 years monitoring plan cannot be incorporated into these projects.  As it sounds like you are aware from your experience at Rat Creek, erosion control measures are allowed under the emergency response program.  All disturbed soil areas are seeded with native plant species for sediment and erosion control as specified by our Landscape Architects.  Native seed vegetation establishment has the potential to limit the establishment of invasive species from dominating the site.  This effort of erosion control will continue to be implemented at the storm damage locations where work is ongoing once the reconstruction has been completed. If you would like to speak with our Landscape Architect about the specific mix they use at these locations please contact Scott Dowlan.

The Big Sur Byways subcommittee on invasive species is where we look to engage and have in depth discussions on invasive plants along the Big Sur Coast. Jay Karl from Caltrans is an active member of the committee and has engaged with the community on what resources Caltrans has available to help with this concern.  In the past, eradication measures have been implemented to address invasive species growth at turnouts and other areas within State Right of Way where people congregate along the Big Sur Coast.  Please note that Caltrans has been and is willing to help with eradication of nonnative invasive plants within State Right of Way within the allowable resources available to us.

Highway 1 northern closure moved to Lucia

Date:Friday, June 23, 2023
District:05 – Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties
Contact:Kevin Drabinski or Alexa Bertola
Phone:(805) 549-3138 or (805) 549-3237





MONTEREY / SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTIES – The northern closure of Highway 1 on the Big Sur coast moved four miles south today, from the Big Creek Vista Point in Monterey County at Post Mile 27.3 to Lucia at PM 23.2.

With this move of the northern closure, a roughly two-mile stretch of Hwy. 1 remains closed to through traffic.

Travelers in the Monterey area will now be able to travel approximately 55 miles south on Hwy. 1 before encountering the turnaround at Lucia.

The southern closure of Hwy. 1 remains located at just before the entrance to Limekiln State Park at PM 21.2. Limekiln State Park remains closed to the public.

Travelers in the Morro Bay – Cambria area will be able to travel north for over 47 miles from Cambria on Hwy. 1 until they encounter the turnaround at Limekiln State Park. All coastal businesses remain open.

Repairs to a major slip out at Dani Creek at PM 22.6 continue. Crews have removed debris from the slip out area below the roadway and have been reconstructing the highway embankment which is approaching the previous level of the road. Crews will next focus on a tunneling operation which will drive a culvert through the fill below the roadway. Repairs at Dani Creek are expected to continue through August 17.

Crews are also continuing to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, at Paul’s Slide at PM 21.7. The current estimate for reopening the highway at Paul’s Slide is still several months. A refreshed estimate for a reopening date at Paul’s Slide will be made in mid-July.

Road information and updates can also be found on Caltrans District 5 Social Media platforms: Twitter at: @CaltransD5, Facebook at: Caltrans Central Coast (District 5) and Instagram at: Caltrans_D5.

Our crews deserve to get home safely too.

Drive slowly and carefully in work zones.

CHP Traffic Incident Information Page:

View of eastern side of Highway 1 at Dani Creek showing reconstruction of highway embankment and staging for tunneling operations which will drive a culvert through the fill below the roadway. 

Traveler information at:              


Kevin Drabinski

Public Information Officer

Caltrans District 5

50 Higuera St.

San Luis Obispo CA 93401

Office: 805.549.3138

Cell: 805.748.1858

TTY 711