Sunny Days & Meteor Nights


Howdy Everyone,

SUN is the word of the week as some of us are bracing for what is looking like a hot weekend across the Los Padres.  By Saturday most of the LP should be seeing temps in the low to mid 90’s with some places creeping into triple digits.  Even coastal areas will be seeing hotter than usual temperatures.  While the nights have been feeling a tad bit ‘fallish’ over the past few days, most of the forest will see warm evenings to match the hot days.  This is the second weekend of A-Zone South hunting, if you are heading into the forest be sure to bring lots of water and drink it.  For those needing their NDD (Nature Deficit Disorder) fix, your best bet might be along the Big Sur coastal trails in Monterey County.  Be safe and be sure to share what you find on when you get back.

Not that hard to get away from lights in the Los Padres

Each August the night skies above the Los Padres come to life with the Perseid meteor shower.  While the meteor shower happens annually, this year is especially vivid due to the lack of a moon this week.  Below is a link which helps explain all the details, rules, this/that and the other…… BUT your best bet is to get outside, away from the lights, take some time, lay back and enjoy the show……

San Luis based VWR Bill Obermeyer, escorting Smokey during the Fiesta Parade
The Chorro Fire, which started August 2 along Hwy 33 above Ojai, is now 100% contained.  Great work to the fire crews and Forest Service for knocking it back as quickly as they did.  The fire burned 282 acres and the closure of trails within and around the fire area has been lifted as of today.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  Remember that the Los Padres is in level III fire restrictions, more information here and here.

A small Cessna plane crashed in the Los Padres near Don Victor Valley on the night of August 6.  The plane had taken off from Lompoc and was headed to Carlsbad when the pilot called out reporting engine failure.  Sadly when the SAR crews arrived both the pilot and passenger were found dead.

More information to come but the LPFA will be hosting a trail project on the weekend of September 25-27 along the Alamar Trail in the Dick Smith Wilderness.  The last report we had from the trail was from summer 2014 when Forest Service interns reported at least 300 downed trees within the first mile and a half of the trail.  YIKES!  The Alamar Trail was burned in the Zaca Fire and the thick forest of coulter pines were utterly destroyed.  While the burned skeletons stood for a few years after the fire, almost all of them have now fallen leaving the trail tread buried under hundreds and hundreds of fallen pines.  The great news is that a new thick blanket of sapling coulters are now clawing up to replace the old forest.  The babies are now in the 6-8ft range and extremely healthy.  Nature taketh and nature giveth back, or something like that.  Anyway, back to the trail work: almost all the work will be crosscut sawyer cutting out trees from the trail corridor.  If you are a sawyer or would like to learn more about the sweet science of sawyering, this is a great trip for you.  More information can be found here or email to sign up:

Hunting the Chorro Fire

Alamar Camp, Fresh after a LPFA Summer cleaning, photo Humphrey

Hi Everyone – hope you are staying cool and enjoying your summer,

We’ve had another busy week on the LP, to say the least.  Great work to the Forest Service and fire crews for knocking down the Chorro Fire, which started earlier this week near the junction of the Chorro Grande Trail and Hwy 33 above Ojai.  At the moment the Chorro Fire has burned 282 acres and is 90% contained.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.  As a result of the fire, the following roads/trails/camps are temporarily closed:  Pine Mountain Rd (Reyes Peak), Oak Camp, Chorro Grande Trail, Potrero John Camp and Trail, Boulder Creek Trail and the pine mountain portion of the Piedra Blanca Trail.  Please be sure to use extreme caution with your campfires, outdoor equipment or other potential fire related activities.  For more information on fire prevention and education, check the One Less Spark website below:

photo Humphrey


This weekend marks the start of deer hunting season in Zone A South.  You can see a map of Zone A here, but it basically covers all the Los Padres other than the section in Ventura and Kern Counties north of Sespe Creek and east of Hwy 33.  Zone A season is from August 8 (Saturday) through September 20.  For those heading into the forest this weekend, expect to see a lot more people than usual, especially at the popular deer hunting locations.  Depending on what activities you have planned, you may want to rethink your plans and be sure to wear bright colors.  Hunting occurs mainly in the hours around sunrise and sunset.  For those of you who will be hunting, be safe and good luck.  More information on hunting regulations and Zone A can be found here.



In case you weren’t aware, the LPFA has a small social media presence with both Facebook and Twitter accounts.  We try to post forest-related news, updates, articles and stories every day or two.  In fact trending right now is a topic involving the now infamous Lizard Man of Rancho Nuevo.  Check us out on Facebook if you haven’t already.


The Ojai Ranger District will have a booth at the Ventura County Fair.  The Fair starts today and lasts through August 16.  Rumor has it that the Ojai District has won awards in the past for their great booths and that this years booth will be the best ever.  If you’re in the neighborhood be sure to stop by and say hello.  More information here:

If you haven’t heard of Ray Strong, chances are you’ve seen his work many times.  Ray Strong was a Santa Barbara based painter who is famous for capturing the soul of the Los Padres within his paintings.  He’s probably most known for painting many of the exhibit backgrounds within the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.  In honor of Ray Strong, this summer there are a number of exhibits featuring his incredible work.  For those interested in art with a Los Padres flavor, be sure to find your way to one of these showings.  You can learn more about the Ray Strong Project and see a list of exhibit dates here: