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Jennifer Smith


Central Coast

Target shooting banned due to fire danger in Los Padres

After increasing fire restrictions July 3 in Los Padres National Forest, officials increased restrictions again Saturday as a result of the increasing danger of wildfires.

The July 3 restrictions prohibited campfires anywhere on the forest except in designated campgrounds, and as of July 7, all recreational target shooting is banned throughout the forest.

Forest officials said the ban is due to increasing hazards resulting from the seasonal decline of fuel moisture levels and predicted “fire weather” — high heat, low relative humidity and strong winds.

The restriction will remain in effect until the end of fire season in late autumn, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman said.

A violation is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, imprisonment for up to six months or both, and officers will strictly enforce the ban in all areas of the forest, the spokesman said.

The only places in the Los Padres where firearms can be discharged are the designated target ranges at Winchester Canyon Gun Club and Ojai Valley Gun Club.

However, during open hunting seasons, anyone possessing a valid California hunting license may discharge a firearm at legal game birds or mammals, the spokesman said.

Zone A rifle deer season, which applies to the majority of Los Padres National Forest, is scheduled to open Aug. 11.

Zone D-13 season, which includes the Mt. Pinos and parts of the Ojai ranger districts, is set to open Oct. 13.

Santa Barbara County

Wildfire prevention, disaster recovery meeting slated by legislators

Two state legislators have scheduled an informational hearing Thursday on local recovery and rebuilding efforts from the Thomas fire and 1/9 Debris Flow and what the state is doing for wildfire prevention and recovery.

Assemblywoman Monique Limón and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, both Santa Barbara Democrats, will convene the meeting, which will consist of two panels, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Montecito Union School District Auditorium, 385 San Ysidro Road, Santa Barbara.

The first panel, composed of local representatives, will summarize the current status of the recovery and rebuilding efforts and the vision for moving forward, said a spokesman for Limón’s office.

The second panel, with representatives from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Cal Fire and others, will discuss the state’s ongoing plan for future wildfire mitigation, response and recovery.

Limón and Jackson also are scheduled to provide an update on related legislation, and the public will have an opportunity to comment, the spokesman said.

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A representative from the California Insurance Commissioner’s Office is also scheduled to attend.

Limón is the co-chairwoman of the Assembly Select Committee on Natural Disaster Response, Recovery and Rebuilding, and Jackson is the chairwoman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management.

Santa Barbara County

Smith named new executive director of Legal Aid Foundation of SB County

Jennifer Smith has joined the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County as executive director, succeeding Molora Vadnais, who served in that position since 2014, the board of directors announced.

The Legal Aid Foundation, which has offices in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Barbara, is a nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services to Santa Barbara County residents in danger of homelessness, violence or financial exploitation.

Smith most recently served as an employee and labor relations specialist with UCSB.

She previously worked as a legal aid attorney for Legal Services of Northern California in Sacramento and in all three Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County’s offices.

Smith is a past president of Santa Barbara Women Lawyers, serves on the Goleta Planning Commission and holds a bachelor’s degree in English with honors from UCSB and a juris doctor from UC Davis with a certificate in public service.

The Legal Aid foundation provides attorneys and legal assistance to low-income county residents, seniors, disabled persons and victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking.

-- Staff Reports