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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Los Padres Urges 4th of July Visitors to Exercise Caution

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 strictly prohibited in the forest at all times.


Rangers and law enforcement officers patrolling the forest will be strictly enforcing the ban on July 4 and throughout the long weekend.

With the forest in Level III Fire Restrictions, recreational target shooting is also prohibited unless specifically authorized under a special use permit. Under current fire restrictions, campfires are permitted in Campfire Use Sites only. Campfires must be attended at all times by a responsible adult with a shovel and adequate supply of water to douse the fire. Forest officials strongly encourage visitors to take into account local weather conditions when deciding whether to have a campfire. A cooking fire within a day-use site on the Santa Barbara Ranger District caused the White Fire on Memorial Day when variable winds increased and pushed embers from the barbeque into nearby dry grass.

“We all have a responsibility when visiting the forest to take the appropriate steps to avoid a wildfire,” said Los Padres Forest Supervisor Peggy Hernandez. “This year has been extremely dry, and with hot temperatures in the forecast it is prudent to consider leaving the campfires for another time.”

Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are permitted outside of Campfire Use Sites, but only with a valid California Campfire Permit. Permits are available free-of-charge at any Forest Service office or online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf . All flammable materials within a distance of five feet from camp stoves must be cleared and a responsible person with a shovel must attend the stove at all times while it is in use.

Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the national forest except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or designated Campfire Use Site. Operating internal or external combustion engines requires a properly installed spark arrester, maintained. Avoid parking vehicles on grass as hot engines can ignite dry vegetation.

Know Before You Go by contacting the nearest Ranger Station for the latest conditions and updates.

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