At about 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 23, the Los Padres National Forest issued an emergency closure affecting all areas of the forest. Those who attempt to hike, bike, drive, or enter the forest in any way will be subject to hefty fines and possible arrest. County roads and state highways that cut through the forest will remain open, but drivers are encouraged to be extra careful and vigilant in watching for fire activity.

As the rest of Southern California burns, firefighting resources are stretched extremely thin, according to Los Padres supervisor Peggy Hernandez, who announced the decision on Tuesday in conjunction with the supervisors of the Cleveland, San Bernardino, and Angeles national forests. As well, Southern California’s “extreme weather” – a mix of scorching sunshine and hot, offshore, desert winds – are not making matters better. The closure will be in effect until these conditions subside.

Those who own property within the forest are exempt from this closure, as are those who already have special usage permits. For more information, call 961-5770.


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