The White Fire

Paul Wellman (file)

The White Fire

Fire Restrictions Increased

Los Padres Forest Officials Cite Super Dry Conditions

Thursday, July 25, 2013
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Citing dangerously dry conditions and a persistent lack of rain, Los Padres National Forest officials announced 7/23 that Level IV fire restrictions have gone into effect. “I can’t remember the last time we were at Level IV,” said Forest Service spokesperson Andrew Madsen on Tuesday, noting Level V is only reached when terrain is similarly parched and there’s a wildfire raging nearby. Madsen said his office fielded a number of calls after the White Fire ​— ​seen above and started on May 27 when embers from a cooking fire at the White Rock Day Use Area blew into nearby brush ​— ​from people curious why campfires hadn’t been banned sooner. The wildland blaze scorched around 2,000 acres and cost $3 million to fight. Madsen noted that while the backcountry is mostly void of visitors save for hard-core backpackers, day-use areas remain popular and well-attended.

He explained Level IV rules mean wood and charcoal fires are now prohibited in all areas of Los Padres, including designated Campfire Use Sites; however, people with a valid California Campfire Permit are allowed to use portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel within campfire sites. Recreational target shooting isn’t allowed without a special use permit, but hunting is exempt. Smoking is prohibited except in a car, building, or Campfire Use Site. Fireworks are completely forbidden.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Level IV fire restrictions announced less than a week ago yet County Fire and SB Planning & Development allow high risk fire behavior in our back country. The county won't enforce zoning rules putting neighbors and firefighters at risk for the sake of one individuals continued quest for profit. Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse hosting weddings, dodging enforcement with loopholes- a disaster waiting to happen. See photo's of yesterday's wedding related fire and our tax $$ at work. Why are we risking another Zaca or Tea fire?

switzerneighbor (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2013 at 8:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

back on June 1st with the White Fire finished 5 of 8 commenters, including me, stated INCREASE FIRE RESTRICTIONS! See
Further, agree with switzerneighbor re. Fig. Mtn. Farmhouse events and fire danger.
As an avid deep backcountry hiker and backpacker, when Madsen notes backpackers -- "while the backcountry is mostly void of visitors save for hard-core backpackers" -- out there, I hope people realize these packers are extraordinarily careful since they're 1]thoughtful and love the wilderness, 2]right in the middle of it the need for fire safety is blatantly obvious: why get yourself cooked?
They should have gone to level IV after the White Fire, obviously.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2013 at 11:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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