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VENTURA COUNTY | IN BRIEF / LOS PADRES FOREST

Fire Ban Remains in Effect, Officials Note

October 31, 2002|From Times Staff Reports

Citing a lack of rain and a continuing problem with violators, the U.S. Forest Service issued a reminder that a ban on wood campfires and charcoal barbecues remains in effect at Los Padres National Forest.

The fire danger in the 2-million-acre forest, which stretches from Ventura County to Monterey County, is extremely high and cannot be downgraded until the forest has received about 2 inches of rain, forest service officials said.

Visitors are being urged to not light any fires until the restrictions are lifted.

Evidence of several bonfires already has been found, forest service officials said.

Smoking is restricted to enclosed vehicles and all off-road vehicles must have working spark arresters.

Portable camping stoves are permitted in the forest with a valid permit.

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