FIRE FOREST & RESTRICTIONS
- We had Hudson, in the eastern Cuyama, that didn’t get onto the Los Padres but burned just over 1,000 acres.
- There were a series of seven fires in Santa Paula Canyon that burned 35 acres and has caused the closure of the popular Santa Paula Canyon Trail.
- The biggest has been the Alamo Fire, which burned over 28,000 acres. It also didn’t get onto LP soil but came really really close and caused multiple forest access closures.
- And of course the Whittier Fire, which has burned over 18,000 acres, mostly within the Los Padres and remains 87% contained. Tragically, 16 residences were destroyed at the hands of Whittier and a Forest Closure remains enforced across the Western Santa Ynez Mountains.
In response to the increase in fire activity, the Los Padres National Forest went into Level III Fire Restrictions effective July 17. You can read all about it here. The largest change in this order is the banning of target shooting across the Los Padres.
Summer is a tough time in the Los Padres. Temperatures are really high across most of the forest and water is becoming scarce. If you’ve got the itch to get into the forest please be careful and plan on doing most of your moving either early or late……..
Four Fingers View, Channel Islands, Madulce Trail
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Colorful History, Mono Debris Dam
• Were you around 25 years ago? Does June 19, 1992 mean anything? It should, that was the day the Los Padres Condor and River Protection Act was signed adding more than 400,000 acres of wilderness and 80 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers to the Los Padres National Forest. This included the creation of the Silver Peak, Sespe, Matilija, Garcia and Chumash Wildernesses as well as additional land added to both the San Rafael and Ventana Wildernesses. That was quite a day, cheers to June 19!
• This week also marks the one-year anniversary of the Soberanes Fire, which burned from July 22, 2016 well into the winter months. Soberanes consumed over 130,000 acres, destroyed dozens of homes and took the life of a dozer operator working on the fire. Even a year later, we’re still reeling from Soberanes with road closures and forest closures continuing to impact life in and around Big Sur and the Ventana Wilderness. More updates next time around….
• A press release was issued earlier this month about the continued closure of Hi Mountain Road in SLO County. Hi Mtn Rd is an unpaved road that connects Arroyo Grande with Pozo going through both SLO County and Los Padres land. It leads to a variety of recreational activities and campgrounds but remains closed as SLO and the LP work out an agreement on road maintenance. The attached PDF tells the story better than we can. Note that Hi Valley Road remains closed from the first gate down next to the creek coming up from Arroyo Grande out to Pozo.
Taking it Easy, LPFA Flume Chute Aid Station, SBER 2017