The Orange County Fire Authority on Thursday declared an official end to the fire season and canceled restrictions in high-risk areas.
About 178,000 acres of wildlands around Anaheim, Brea, Laguna Beach, Orange and unincorporated areas were reopened to the public.
The fire season lasted about two months longer than usual this year because of a lack of rain, said Battalion Chief Scott Brown, adding that current weather patterns indicate the fire season could start again as early as April.
"The point we're trying to share is that in Southern California, it is fire season year round," Brown said.
Those visiting the high-risk canyon areas should heed the following admonitions:
* Smoking is prohibited, even inside vehicles.
* Keep matches and lighters away from children.
* Discharge of fireworks is prohibited.
Anyone with questions can contact the Fire Authority at (714) 744-0496 or check the department's Web site at http://www.ocfa.org.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
End of Fire Season
Orange County Fire Authority officials reopened about 178,000 acres to the public Thursday.
Source: Orange County Fire Authority