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Snow and rain across the Los Padres National Forest have provided enough moisture for the U.S. Forest Service to reduce fire restrictions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday.

Under the reduced fire restrictions, effective immediately throughout the Los Padres National Forest, campfires and charcoal barbecues will be allowed in all areas of the forest. A state campfire permit is required to build a campfire outside of designated campfire use sites.

State campfire permits are available for free download from the Forest Service website at www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf. A list of campfire use sites is available at all Forest Service offices.

Visitors who construct wood or charcoal fires outside of designated campfire use sites also must clear all flammable material for a minimum of 5 feet in all directions; have a shovel available for preparing and extinguishing the fire; have a responsible person in attendance at all times; and extinguish the fire with water, using the “drown, stir and feel” method.

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“As we move into the rainy season and reduce fire restrictions, it’s important to remember that fire can happen at any time of the year,” Los Padres National Forest Fire Chief Jim Harris said. “I strongly encourage all visitors to exercise caution while they are out enjoying the forest.”

The following fire restrictions will remain in effect:

  • Spark arresters are required on all off-highway vehicles, chainsaws, and other internal combustion engines and equipment;
  • A permit is required for all welding, grinding, cutting or use of explosives;
  • Tracer ammunition is prohibited at all times;
  • Fireworks are prohibited in Los Padres National Forest at all times and in all places;
  • Recreational target shooting is prohibited in all areas of Los Padres National Forest except for the Winchester Canyon Gun Club and the Ojai Valley Gun Club, which are under special use permits.

Visitors are encouraged to call the local ranger station for more information on conditions and restrictions. The Santa Barbara Ranger District can be reached at 805-967-3481.

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