Hello Los Padres & Happy Holidays – It’s been a monumental day in the LP with quite a few shakeups that most of you will be happy to hear about. Lets get to it!
Earlier today the Forest Service lifted the fire closures on the REY FIRE, SHERPA FIRE and PINE FIRE. All regular recreational activities are now permitted within these fire perimeters. This includes hiking, camping, riding and biking & OHV where applicable and legal.
In addition, the Forest Service reduced the closure of the Soberanes Fire and opened up most of the southern portion of the Monterey Ranger District. The heart of the Soberanes burn area remains closed and will most likely stay closed through next spring. For more information on all the fire openings and adjusted closures, check this link here and see the attached map showing the current Soberanes Fire closure.
Want more? On November 29 the Forest Service downgraded the fire restrictions from Level IV to Level II. Level II allows portable stoves across the forest, campfires at Designated Campfire Use Sites and target shooting at designated locations. Check the links for more details.
The changing of these closures is somewhat unexpected but it is good news, at least for most of us. Please remember that the hillsides and trails within the burn areas are still settling. Be careful, tread lightly, avoid during rain, listen to your internal ‘common sense meter’ and have a backup plan in case the trail you’d like to explore is impassable. Otherwise, have at it!
We spent some time this past week scheduling the 2017 LPFA volunteer trail projects. 2017 will hopefully be highlighted by a Working Vacation based at Manzana Schoolhouse in April and a second Working Vacation at Madulce in May – we’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, our next backcountry trail project is December 16-18 working down the Judell Trail in the San Rafael Wilderness. We’ll be car-camping at the trailhead and working down from the top removing fallen trees and brush from the trail corridor. We’re also working on some sort of holiday theme for the weekend, so you might want to get your ugly Xmas sweaters out of the closet and primed for action. If you’re interested in helping that weekend, email us at INFO@LPForest.org or email project leader Mike Smith at TrailSmith@LPForest.org.