Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Parts of Los Padres National Forest set to reopen today


A temporary emergency closure for the Los Padres National Forest that began on Oct. 23 will end today, U.S. Forest Service officials announced yesterday.
The forest closure, which also affected the Angeles, San Bernardino and Cleveland National Forests, was implemented as a result of extreme fire danger that was spurred by sift Santa ana winds and a series of devastating fires that stretched from the U.S. Mexico border to Santa Barbara County.

Forest Service officials said they have reopened parts of the Los Padres National Forest after evaluating moisture level in vegetation, weather conditions and firefighter needs, which have all improved since the closure was first imposed.
A statement released by the Forest Service’s Goleta office says all areas of the forest that were closed to the public prior to the emergency closures will remain closed.
In the Los Padres National Forest, the statement says these areas include most of the San Rafael Wilderness, all of the Dick Smith Wilderness and some of the surrounding land that was charred by the Zaca Fire. Areas affected by the Zaca Fire will remain closed through April 2008, the statement says.
Though parts of the forest are now open, officials said restrictions, such as a complete ban on all wood and charcoal fires within the forest will remain. A ban on recreational target shooting, except for within the Winchester Gun Club and the Ojai Valley Gun Club will remain in tact and smoking is prohibited in all areas except within an enclosed vehicle, building or designated campfire use site.
Portable stoves and lanterns that use gas are only allowed in designated campfire use sites, with a valid California Campfire Permit.
More information about the status of the Los Padres National Forest is available at:

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