The trail restoration was part of a joint project between LPFA, SBMTV, MTF, SBCTC and the Forest Service.
Photo Ray Ford
In case you didn’t see the Forest Service announcements on their proposed La Brea Restoration plans we’ve included some information about the plan below. This appears to be the final opportunity for the public to comment on the La Brea Restoration so get your thoughts down on paper or screen and send them in before August 20.
Have a great weekend and we hope you find some time in the Los Padres while you’re at it. If so, please share photos, we’d love to see how it’s looking and what fun you’re having……..
LA BREA RESTORATION UPDATE
Since that time the Forest Service has been working to develop a restoration plan for the La Brea closure area. They’ve organized field events to show the damage along La Brea and also reached out for public comment on how we believe the FS should manage this area. The end result of this many year process is that the FS is recommending a proposed action for the La Brea Area which would essentially close the La Brea Road to motorized access while creating improved access to the area for non-motorized recreation. Please read the fine-print here and below is a quick outline of the proposed actions (seeing attached map might help):
- Reopen La Brea Canyon Road coming from Miranda Pine down as far as Wagon Flat Campground. La Brea Canyon Road would then be closed to motorized travel at Wagon Flat both downstream along La Brea and also up towards Lazy Camp. Wagon Flat Campground would get a makeover including six campsites, a new toilet and the establishment of a trailhead used to access Lazy and the lower La Brea area.
- Kerry Canyon Motorcycle Trail would be converted to non-motorized. The portion of road between Wagon Flat and Lazy would be converted to non-motorized single track and become part of the Kerry Canyon Trail.
- Colson Canyon Road will be reopened down to the first crossing of La Brea Creek where a new trailhead will be established for accessing the lower portions of La Brea Creek. La Brea Road will be closed to motorized travel from the new trailhead at the bottom of Rattlesnake Canyon both upstream towards Wagon Flat and downstream towards Barrel Spring Campground.
- In addition there will be quite a few changes to some of the nearby campgrounds:
- Colson Campground, Alejandro Camp, Kerry Camp, Bear Camp and Lazy Campground will be decommissioned with their camp amenities removed where possible.
- Barrel Spring Campground would be reclassified as a primitive campsite since it would no longer be accessible by motorized travel.
We realize this is a lot to digest, especially if you are not familiar with the area or this proposal. The Forest Service is accepting comments on this proposal through August 20. You can comment here at this link. Let your voice be heard!
Sayin’ goodbye to August 15, photo Humphrey
• Quick correction from the last email, the only trails which remain technically closed in the Santa Barbara Frontcountry are West Fork Cold Spring and Cold Spring (southern side above Montecito). Thanks to Montecito Trails Foundation for the correction.
• Unfortunately the Mendocino Complex Fire in Northern California has now surpassed the Thomas Fire as the largest wildfire in California history. Here’s hoping that the Mendocino Complex Fire retains that title for a long long long time…..
• It seems to happen every year or two but an Oregon woman driving south along the Big Sur Coast swerved to avoid an animal and drove off the cliff and onto the beach some 200+ ft below. She survived for a week before finally being discovered and rescued. Amazing story for sure, check it out here.
It’s been a busy few weeks here in the Los Padres featuring additional fire restrictions and the onset of A-Zone South general deer hunting season. We’ve also had a lot of questions of late about what is and what is not open across the Los Padres. Lots going up and down the Los Padres, especially for the dog days of summer, lets get to it!
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The Dry and Extra Crispy Little Pine Mountain
ADDITIONAL FIRE RESTRICTIONS
- No campfires allowed across the forest. PERIOD.
- No target shooting allowed outside of Winchester and Ojai Valley (Rose Valley) Gun Clubs.
- No camp stoves outside of designated Campfire Use Sites.
- Yes, that means no hot coffee or stove cooking for backcountry travelers!
Obviously 2018 has already been a horrendous wildfire year with more than 15 large fires currently burning across California. So far (knock, knock) the LP has avoided any large fires this season and lets hope it stays that way. Be safe everyone!
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Big Pine Mountain, sadly the pines have been slow to recover after the 2007 Zaca Fire, photo Taryn AshlockA-ZONE SOUTH HUNTING SEASON
A-Zone South general hunting season started August 11 and lasts through September 23. While there are many hunts across the Los Padres, the A-Zone South general season is by far the busiest. A-Zone South covers almost all of the Los Padres from Monterey down through SLO, SB and a large portion of Ventura County. You can see the map showing the coverage area here. Each year we hear concerns from non-hunters who are caught off guard coming across groups of hunters. Be aware that hunters will be out and about this time of year and if that’s not your cup of tea you might want to head elsewhere in the Los Padres. Pine Mountain above Ojai and the Mt Pinos area are both outside of A-Zone South and should be nicer this time of year due to their higher elevations. Once again, be safe everyone…..
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While not quite as impressive as the Black Gate of Mordor, it’ll feel just as imposing if you find it closed when you thought it was supposed to be open!YOU SHALL (NOT) PASS!
We get a ton of questions from forest-users asking about which gates are open? is that gate closed? is this trail open? can I go here,? etc….? BTW, we love helping with these questions so please keep them coming! While the Forest Service website does a great job of sharing this information, we thought it was probably time to share some of the answers we’ve been helping people with over the past months. We’re focusing on either the recent changes or the major questions we frequently receive. For more details please check the Los Padres website linked above or call your local Ranger District:
- MONTEREY RANGER DISTRICT
- HIGHWAY 1: After being closed since May 19, 2017, the GIANT slide at Mud Creek finally reopened on July 18. Highway 1 through what is known as the Big Sur Coast is now open from Morro Bay to Monterey. That being said, there are still some one lane delays and the occasional nighttime closure. If you are planning a trip along this section of Hwy 1 be sure to check ahead of time to with CalTrans to make sure you can safely get through.
- PALO COLORADO ROAD: Palo Colorado Road sustained major damage following the 2016 Soberanes Fire and 2017 winter season. The road remains closed three miles above Hwy 1 but people can hike up the road to access Bottcher’s Gap and the Northern Terminus of the Condor Trail. While the road is open to pedestrians, understand that there is no parking along the road so you’ll have to arrange for a drop-off if you plan on hiking up to Bottcher’s. Palo Colorado is scheduled to reopen by the end of October.
- PINE RIDGE TRAIL & FRIENDS: The Pine Ridge, Terrace Creek and Ventana Camp Trails remain the largest and most substantial closure across the Los Padres as well as the # 1 question we get about closures. Pine Ridge Trail remains closed from Highway 1 at Big Sur Station up-canyon to beyond Redwood Camp. This includes Ventana Camp, Barlow, Terrace Creek, Sykes and Redwood. The trail was damaged in both the Soberanes Fire as well as the 2017 storms. There is no timetable as to when the trail or access to the camps will be reopened.
- SANTA LUCIA RANGER DISTRICT
- HI MOUNTAIN ROAD: Hi Mountain Road was reopened in late April after being closed for over a year due to lack of maintenance.
- BATES CANYON: Closed above Bates Campground due to road issues and slides.
- SANTA BARBARA RANGER DISTRICT
- ROMERO CAMUESA ROAD: The Romero Camuesa Road remains closed to vehicle traffic beyond Romero Saddle along East Camino Cielo.
- DIVIDE PEAK OHV: Divide Peak is open but riders will need to park at Romero Saddle.
- FIRST CROSSING: Open.
- BUCKHORN ROAD OHV: Closed at Upper Oso due to Rey Fire damage and adjustments to the Camuesa Road OHV. More on that to come…..
- SB FRONTCOUNTRY TRAILS: Most of the frontcountry trails have reopened but the lower sections of Cold Spring and Hot Springs remain closed as well as the entire West Fork Cold Spring Trail. More on this to come soon as well……
- OJAI RANGER DISTRICT
- MIDDLE LION CAMPGROUND: Open, after being closed due to the Thomas Fire.
- ROSE VALLEY CAMPGROUND: Open, same as above.
- NORDHOFF RIDGE ROAD: Open, same as above.
- ORTEGA TRAIL: Open, same as above.
- CHERRY CREEK: Open, seasonal.
- MT PINOS RANGER DISTRICT
- RANCHO NUEVO / TINTA, MT PINOS RD: The road to Rancho Nuevo TH and lower Tinta TH was closed for an extended period of time due to gullies and washouts. The road has been recently reopened to both trailheads.
- WEST DRY CANYON ROAD, MT PINOS RD: Dry Canyon Road, which connects Santa Barbara Canyon to the upper Tinta TH and Cuyama Peak remains closed due to gullies sustained during the 2017 winter season.
So much brown, dry photos; lets mix in some green and a July waterfall along the Sisquoc
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• The LPFA was featured last month in the Santa Barbara Independent Blue and Green issue highlighting one of our Working Vacations from April 2018. Check it out…… and three cheers for all the great volunteers who make the Working Vacations so successful and fun! Cheer…… Cheer…… Cheer……
• Reminder that HikeLosPadres.com continues to be a great resource for knowing current trail conditions and water conditions across the forest. Be sure to check HLP before you head out and update it when you get back. Sharing information helps everyone. Thanks…..
• In case you missed it, the Thomas Fire was officially declared out last month after starting December 4, 2017.
• On a loftier note, the flock of condors in San Luis Obispo are doing great and beginning to expand their territory.
• The LPFA will be expanding our paid Trail Crew this summer and are looking for experienced Los Padres trail workers interested in working for the LPFA Trail Crew. The work will be primarily in Ventura and SB Counties and will range from day projects to week-long overnight backcountry hitches. If you are interested in throwing your name into the hat or hearing more details, please email INFO@LPForest.org
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The Los Padres is calling and I must go, photo JO Chung
- While the Forest Service has reopened their previously closed land, both the City and County of Santa Barbara have decided to keep their portions of the burn area closed. You can read more details on the Noozhawk article by Ray Ford. The City and County of SB control much of the lower portions of the Santa Barbara Frontcountry, including the trailheads at Cold Spring, San Ysidro and Hot Springs Canyon. This means that while the upper Frontcountry within the Los Padres is open, people cannot access the trails through the more popular lower trailheads. This has created a bit of a conundrum as stakeholders and trail-users attempt to figure out the best ways to legally enjoy the trails. We’ll keep you posted as news develops……..
- The LPFA has been busy over the past days installing yellow warning signs at the trailheads around the Thomas burn area, see photo below. Please do be careful if you are within the burn area. There are many loose rocks and hazard trees that have not succumbed to gravity quite yet. Pay special attention on switchback sections where people above might trigger a loose rock on trail users below. Also, if you plan on camping in the burned area, be really careful of hazard trees and limbs that might fall.
- Portions of the town of Montecito remain in a state of disrepair as they continue to deal with repercussions from the Thomas Fire and January 9 debris flows. There is still a lot of heavy equipment moving rocks and pushing dirt, and some shocking house damage remains within the community. Please be mindful and respectful.
- The Romero Camuesa Road from Romero Saddle down towards Pendola remains closed to vehicles/motorcycles as does Divide Peak OHV. Hikers and bicyclists are able to use these roads. No timetable has been set as to when the road and OHV route might reopen but don’t count on it happening anytime soon.
- Both Rose Valley Campground and Middle Lion Campground remain closed. No news as to when they might reopen.
- While the forest is open, most of the trails have received little or no trail work since the winter rains. You should plan on the trails taking significantly longer to travel than normal and be careful attempting shuttle trips as there may be some impassable sections of trail that may cause changes in your plans.
- There have been some reports from within the burn area of the dreaded fire-follower plant called the Poodle Dog Bush. Our unfriend, the Poodle Dog, causes human reactions similar to poison oak. It’s a very picturesque purple flower that can grow in large robust fields that look like something you should dance through rather than skirt around. Google search it please…….
Other than that, the forest has been reopened from the lower Sespe out to Gibraltar Road and up to Hwy 33. Enjoy, be safe and please let us know if you come across any downed trees or horrible sections of trail that need significant work. We’re helping compile a list of trail issues and any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Please share your reports on www.HikeLosPadres.com. THANKS and be safe!
This was (is) Matilija Camp? NATIONAL TRAILS DAY
MATILIJA TRAIL, Ventura County
The LPFA is organizing a trail project into the Thomas Fire burn area and focusing on restoring the lower portion of the Matilija Trail from the trailhead up to Matilija Camp. The trail is covered in downed trees (crosscut sawyers needed) and burnt brush that we’ll be clearing from the trail corridor and if time allows we might work to uncover Matilija Camp, which was buried in boulders. We’ll be meeting Saturday at 8am at Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center and working until 2pm. REI will be joining us back at Wheeler Gorge with their famous “CHILL ZONE” and we’ll have a quick BBQ for the volunteers around 3pm. It should be a special day and a lot of fun. For more information check us out here or email INFO@LPForest.org
DAVY BROWN TRAIL, Santa Barbara County
The LPFA will also be hosting a trail project on June 2 along the Davy Brown Trail, off of Figueroa Mountain near Los Olivos. We’ll be meeting at the upper Davy Brown Trailhead at 8am and from there working down Davy Brown and perhaps out the Willow Spur Trail. Work will be mainly clearing downed trees and brush from along the trail. Mike Smith is the project leader and we’ll work until the afternoon before returning to the trailhead. Davy Brown is one of the more scenic trails in the area providing ocean views from the trailhead as well as views of Hurricane Deck. It’s also home to a great variety of plants and flowers that make Figueroa Mountain so famous. We hope to see you there. Please RSVP if you can make it (INFO@LPForest.org) and click here for more details.
BOULDER CANYON TRAIL, Ventura County
Mark Subbotin will be leading a sawyer assault down the Boulder Canyon Trail along the northern slope of Pine Mountain. There is an estimated 20+ trees down along the trail and we’re fairly certain they’ll get them all! This is also part of the Condor Trail. Details will be provided by Mark and the Mt Pinos Volunteers, you can reach Mark at: MSubbotin76@Gmail.com.
HORSEPASTURE TRAIL, Monterey County
The VWA is hosting a car-camping potential multi-day project along the Horsepasture Trail. They’ll be working hard on Saturday and then playing equally hard on Sunday. Sounds like a great project and a terrific way to get to know the area and the people who help keep the trails open. RSVP required, please click here for more details.
The Quick Gray Fox Jumps Over the Newly Restored Trail, photo Humphrey
• GREAT NEWS! The Ojai Ranger District released a scoping letter last week outlining an environmental proposal to approve all the ORD trails for Level 1-2 trail maintenance. See attached letter to learn more and please respond if you’d like to see the Ojai trails improved.
• This weekend marked the launch of a temporary shuttle service that shuttles visitors from the Big Sur Station parking lot down to Pfeiffer Beach and back. Beach access to Pfeiffer and overcrowding has been a serious problem over the past decade and the shuttle service is a pilot project to see if a shuttle can prevent traffic jams along Sycamore Canyon Road. By most accounts the first weekend was a big success. We’ll share more information on this in a future email.
Pay Attention to the Thomas Fire Warning Signs, and Especially Pay Attention to the Signs of Thomas Fire Warnings, photo Gordon J.
Hello Friends – Happy Mother’s Day! It’s been a while since we’ve sent out a LPFA Forest update and we figured what better day to send out a Los Padres update than Mother’s Day. Lets get to it…….
We’ve all heard the saying about if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it…….right? While we can’t exactly prove that one, we can tell you that if a tree is obliterated in the woods by a rock slide and someone is there to hear it…… it’s scary and loud as hell! On a recent trail survey up Rancho Nuevo Canyon, one of our volunteers witnessed first hand a rock slide that literally destroyed and smashed a substantial oak tree into pieces. The volunteer watched in astonishment from less than 50 yards away as the cliff face let loose down the canyon, taking out trees and covering the trail that he was seconds away from hiking. After the dust had mostly settled, he quickly took a photo of the carnage (see above) and high-tailed it out of there. It was a crystal clear cool spring morning, no wind, no earthquakes, this area hadn’t burned since the Zaca Fire and no recent rain. Fortunately, there had been a few smaller rock falls just before the final large one that kept him from continuing down the trail and into the cross-hairs of the slide. The main takeaway of the story is to always pay attention while in the forest. It doesn’t need to be a stormy day for disaster to strike. We might want to put the headphones away, listen to the forest sounds, stay alert and follow your gut. While the slide was scary for sure, it must have been an incredible sight to see as well…… Has anyone else witnessed tree falls, rock slides or other random acts of nature in the Los Padres. We’d love to hear about it…..
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While not part of the Tour of California, the Blue Canyon switchbacks are looking good enough to ride again!
Compliments of a February 2018 LPFA volunteer project.
2018 TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
Each May, cyclists from around the world descend on California to participate in the Amgen Tour of California bike race. The Tour of California is a week long race that sends the cyclists 645 miles up and down California highlighting the spectacular sights and roads that make California such an attractive destination. The routes and stages change from year to year and as luck would have it in 2018, two of the stages pass through the Los Padres National Forest:
STAGE 2, MAY 14: Ventura to Santa Barbara
This stage might as well be called the Tour de Thomas Fire. It starts in Ventura, heads out through Oxnard and Camarillo before heading north up Hwy 150 through Santa Paula literally right past the point of origin of the Thomas Fire. From there the race goes through Ojai, passes the Ojai Ranger District, along Hwy 150 to Carpinteria, across to Santa Barbara and then ascends freshly paved Gibraltar Road into the Los Padres and up to the finish at East Camino Cielo. The riders will be seeing most of the burned areas during their 100 miles in the saddle. Gibraltar Road is sure to be a wild scene for those who’d like to see the race in person, otherwise you can watch on NBCSN live from 1 – 4pm.
STAGE 3, MAY 15: King City to Laguna Seca
The following day the Tour heads to the northern Los Padres starting in King City near the Monterey Ranger District. From King City the riders will circle around to Greenfield, head towards Arroyo Seco, veer onto Carmel Valley Road, passing briefly through the Los Padres on their way to Carmel Valley and finally north up to the finish at Laguna Seca Raceway. In all the riders will cover 122 miles and you can catch the live TV coverage from 1:30 – 4pm on NBCSN.
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Imagine if there were no trail volunteers, I wonder if you can….
VOLUNTEER PROJECTS & NATIONAL TRAILS DAY
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• Helen Tarbet of the Santa Lucia Ranger District does a fantastic job each spring documenting the flower show along Figueroa Mountain. While the flower season hasn’t been nearly as ‘all-time’ as last year, there’s been a fair amount of color if you know where to look. Attached is Helen’s latest installment of the Figueroa Mountain Wildflower Update. Check it out……
• Since it is Mother’s Day, we wanted to reach out to each and every mother out there and send our thanks and best wishes! You are all the best…….
• Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center is back open and looking better than ever. We used the downtime caused by the Thomas Fire to do some renovations at Wheeler Gorge and the work turned out fantastic! Thanks to all the volunteers who helped in the renovation, in particular Gordie Hemphill, Kasey Moorse and Cindy and Terry Wright. We’ll share more pictures of the Visitor Center soon, including an introduction to our newest family member: Freedom. The next event at Wheeler is Saturday May 19 when we welcome Ranger Kris to talk about the World of Bats. Hope you can fly on by……
• Tragically, a mountain lion was killed along Hwy 101 near San Luis late last month.
Here Pollywog Pollywog, photo Humphrey
LATE SPRING 2018 TRAIL PROJECTS
Here’s a list of some upcoming LPFA and non-LPFA trail projects and specific contacts in case you’d like to volunteer. Hope to see you out there……..
May 16 – White Rock Trail Work: The LPFA continues work clearing brush along the Figueroa Mtn network of trails. Up next is White Rock Trail. Led by Bryan Conant, we’ll be focused on brushing a middle 1/2 mile section of the trail. Please RSVP via email: INFO@LPForest.org
May 18-21 – Bluff Camp Sawyer Trip: Led by Mickey McTigue, we’ll be driving in to Bluff Cabin via the Buckhorn Rd and Upper Oso. From Bluff we’ll be day-tripping up to both the Mission Pine and Sisquoc Trails (part of the Condor Trail) to cut out fallen trees across the trail. Work will be primarily crosscut with some brushing intermixed. This work is within Santa Barbara County within the San Rafael Wilderness. For information or to sign up please contact Mickey at: email@example.com
May 19 – Santa Barbara Canyon Crosscut: Join Mark Subbotin as he leads a project to cut out two large oak trees along the Santa Barbara Canyon Trail (along the Condor Trail). The first tree is 3.2 miles from the trailhead while the second is 4.1 miles. To sign up please email Mark at: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 20 – Tumamait Trail Crosscut: Mark will be at it again, this time working the Tumamait Trail high atop the Chumash Wilderness. They’ll be cutting out three downed trees about 2.5 miles out from the trailhead. Mark can be reached at: email@example.com
May 26 – Sulphur Spring Sawyer Project: Bob Burtness has been caring for the Sulphur Spring Trail since the 1970’s. It’s become impassable due to fallen downed trees. Bob will be leading a project on May 26 to help cut out the downed trees along the trail. The work will either be using chain saws or crosscut, depending on PAL fire levels. Sulphur Spring Trail is located off of Figueroa Mtn Rd near the San Rafael Wilderness. For more information please contact: INFO@LPForest.org
June 2 – Chorro Grande Trail: The LPFA will once again celebrate National Trails Day by hosting a much overdue trail projects. This year we’ll be working the Chorro Grande Trail within the Ojai Ranger District. Chorro Grande is a lovely trail nestled between Hwy 33 and Pine Mtn ranging in elevation from 4,000ft to over 6,000ft. We’ll be primarily brushing the middle portion of the trail. Jasonn Beckstrand will be leading the efforts. For more information email: INFO@LPForest.org
June 2 – Boulder Canyon Trail: Mark Subbotin will be leading a chain saw or crosscut project down the Boulder Canyon Trail (Condor Trail) focused on clearing an estimated 20+ trees. This will also be part of the National Trails Day celebration. For more information or to sign up, please email Mark: firstname.lastname@example.org
June 8-10 – Alamar Trail Sawyer & Tread: The LPFA will be hosting one last project this year focused on clearing the Alamar Trail (part of the Condor Trail) within the Dick Smith Wilderness. Led by Bryan Conant, we’ll be driving to Alamar Saddle and working from the Saddle down 3 miles into the canyon. The majority of the work will be crosscut with some brushing and tread work mixed in for good measure. INFO@LPForest.org to sign up or learn more.
June 15-18 – Upper Sisquoc Trail Project: Mike Smith is leading another assault on the Upper Sisquoc. The exact location of this project is TBD but it will be somewhere between Alamar Saddle and Heath Camp. For more information or to sign up please email Mike at: TrailSmith@LPForest.org
If you’ve been anywhere near a fire over the past few years, you’ve probably heard the words “BEAR WORK” and might not know exactly what that means. We get asked about it all the time and it’s BAER WORK (pronounced BEAR). So what is BAER? This is directly from the Los Padres NF website:
Friday March 23 – Doors Open 6:30pm
Balboa Building – 735 State Street – Santa Barbara
*parking can be tough, suggest Paseo Nuevo*
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Doesn’t that look a whole lot more inviting!
– Tragically, on February 15 there was an accidental self-inflicted gunshot caused death at the Glass Factory target shooting area along East Camino Cielo. Due to the investigation of the shooting, the Glass Factory will remain closed until March 27.
– Highway 1 along the Big Sur Coast remains closed just north of Salmon Guard Station at Mud Creek. There have been a few additional slides that have caused delays and/or closures due to the recent storms but all of those have been cleared. If Hwy 1 is on your radar, be sure to check CalTrans or BigSurKate ahead of time.
– Even with the recent “March Marvel” (we can’t call it a miracle just yet), we remain well below the average rainfall totals across the forest for the season. We’re still fighting to overcome a February that had single digit percentages of average rainfall across most of the Los Padres. Figueroa Mountain received only 2% of their average rain in February, Three Peaks in the Silver Peak region only 7%. By comparison, Fig Mtn is 174% of normal for March so far and Three Peaks is a whopping 757% of normal! March is off to a good start and fortunately the storms have been light and steady within the fire areas. Lets pray for more of the same……
– In case you hadn’t heard, the Whittier Fire closure has been lifted and West Camino Cielo is once again open, barring temporary rain closures. Please tread lightly. While West Camino is open, the Tequepis Trail remains inaccessible due to the closure of Circle V Ranch.
– Speaking of the Whittier Fire, the cause of the fire was released last month, read here for more information.
– The Thomas Fire closure remains in effect with all of the burned areas (the black) still closed to public access. This includes access east of Gibraltar Road along East Camino Cielo and all the trailheads accessed via Rose Valley (yes, even Piedra Blanca Trailhead). There has been no timetable set as to when the Thomas closure will be lifted.
– There’s been some good news coming from the Thomas Fire specifically related to fire impacted animals surviving the fire. Here’s one about the use of fish skin bandages to help repair burns and the release of two of those bears and a mountain lion cub. And this article talking about condor #871’s first flight across the Sespe.
– Thanks to the fantastic work of CalTrans, Highway 33 has remained open through all the past series of storms. Those guys are amazing! Thanks CalTrans! That being said, if you plan on driving Hwy 33, please be aware that it could close at any moment and especially around rain events.
– The Los Padres Forest is requesting comments to reissue power-line permits through the forest. For more information start here.
Smokin Hot, Cold Spring Sunset
Quick reminder on some upcoming volunteer projects that you might want to help with and a cruz’in Thomas fundraiser. Lets get to it…..
February 16-19, Manzana Schoolhouse
The Ojai Ranger District and LPFA will be partnering again this Saturday to cleanup some of the areas that were recently burned in the Thomas Fire. Last weekend was Rose Valley, this weekend we’ll be moving a little further up Hwy 33 (which is now open!) and focusing on Cherry Creek. Until recently Cherry Creek was a popular target shooting destination off the Upper Sespe along Hwy 33. To put it bluntly, the area was trashed over the previous decades by target shooters blasting the trees and leaving target remains up and down the road. A few years ago target shooting was prohibited and a series of cleanups organized to haul away much of the target remains and trash. The Thomas Fire burned much of Cherry Creek, revealing in the absence of brush a new wave of trash. Our objective is to get in there and pick up as much remaining trash as we can. The Forest Service will be providing lunch for all volunteers so please RSVP with Mike Porter and let him know if you want veggie or meat sandwich:
We’ll be meeting at the Ojai Ranger Station (1190 E. Ojai Ave.) at 8:30am and plan to be back by 4pm. All supplies will be provided but please wear closed-toe shoes and bring snacks, water, sunglasses and gloves if you have them. Hope to see you there…….
You never know what “trash” you’ll find after a fire?
United States Hero & Los Padres’ Own, David Dahlberg
• Fire Restrictions were lifted on January 19 permitting campfires and target shooting. See attached PDF for more information. Please PLEASE, be careful with your fires and pick up your brass if target shooting.
• Highway 33 remains closed between Ojai and Lockwood Valley Road. It is possible the road will reopen on February 7 but you’ll want to confirm with CalTrans before attempting to drive through.
• The Thomas Fire was officially called 100% contained on January 12 at an astounding 281,893 acres.
• Highway 1 along the Southern Big Sur Coast remains closed at Mud Creek due to the epic landslide from last spring. It remains on schedule to reopen his summer.
• The FS will be implementing annual prescribed burns across the forest as conditions allow.
• As if TOTALITY wasn’t enough, yesterday we had the pleasure of witnessing the SUPER BLUE BLOOD MOON LUNAR ECPLISE, try saying that fast 10 times in a row. It was spectacular. In case you missed it, we will have another blue moon in March, just can’t promise the SUPER or LUNAR ECLIPSE parts.
Saturday February 3
8:30am at the Ojai Ranger Station
Troop 111 from Ventura recently replaced the San Rafael Wilderness sign on the Judell Trail. GREAT WORK!
newly restored trail sign along Davy Brown Trail.
The sign restoration was part of an Eagle Scout project compliments of Orcutt Scout Troop 91.