Please be aware of these alerts and notices because many unexpected situations can present difficult challenges for forest visitors.
Be well informed and prepared for your next visit to the forest.
Before venturing out, contact the nearest Forest Service office for recent information on alerts, advisories, notices and closures.
To report an emergency, please call 911.
Storm Damage Forest Closure Orders
Forest Order 05-07-00-23-11 Special Closure - Storm Damage Recovery: Effective August 31, 2023 - August 31, 2024
Forest Order 05-07-00-23-11 Special Closure Public Health & Safety: Effective August 31, 2023 - October 30, 2023
Ranger District Open and Closed areas
- Monterey Ranger District - Open/Closed areas
- Santa Lucia District - Open/Closed areas
- Mt. Pinos Ranger District - Open/Closed areas
- Santa Barbara District - Open/Closed areas
- Ojai Ranger District - Open/Closed areas
Many of the areas that were closed for public health and safety concerns following powerful winter storms that caused significant damage have reopened. Since January 13, four of Los Padres’ five ranger districts were closed under a Special Closure Order to allow for a comprehensive damage assessment.
As these areas reopen for public use, Forest officials stress that storms forecast over the next two weeks could cause further damage that may require additional closures. The public is strongly encouraged to exercise maximum caution when entering areas of the Forest that are now open for hiking and camping, and to closely monitor weather forecasts.
A new Forest order is now in place that keeps severely compromised roads, trails, campgrounds, and day-use sites closed to the public while Forest engineers, partner groups, volunteers, and contractors work on repairs as funding becomes available. Road crews and resources from other national forests in California have been assisting with road clearing and maintenance projects to reopen additional areas once they have been repaired.
Forest personnel continue to coordinate with city, county, state, and federal partners to prioritize, plan, and implement the storm damage response and recovery. The Los Padres Forest Association and Ventana Wilderness Alliance, among others, have provided critical support both in assessing damaged areas and leading repair efforts.
Forest-wide Fire Restrictions
In response to the increasing potential for a wildland fire start, Los Padres National Forest officials announced that fire restrictions will be implemented throughout the Forest effective August 1. These restrictions will affect the use of campfires, stoves, smoking materials, and internal combustion engines, and will remain in effect until January 31, 2024.
Effective August 1, the following restrictions will be in effect:
- No open fires, campfires or charcoal fires will be permitted outside of developed recreation sites or designated Campfire Use Sites, even with a valid California Campfire Permit. Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel will be permitted, but only with a valid California Campfire Permit, which can be obtained free-of-charge at any Forest Service office or by visiting the Ready For Wildfire website. Forest visitors must clear all flammable material for five feet in all directions from their camp stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person always attends the stove during use.
- Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or a designated Campfire Use Site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
- Internal combustion engines may be operated only on roads or designated trails. This restriction is in effect year-round. Please make sure your engine is tuned, operating properly, and has an approved spark arrester.
- Fireworks – even the “safe and sane” variety – are not permitted at any time or in any location within the Forest.
- Recreational target shooting is prohibited within Los Padres National Forest except for the Winchester Canyon Gun Club and Ojai Valley Gun Club that operate under special use permits.
Visitors are encouraged to call the Forest Supervisor’s Office or the local Ranger Station for more information on conditions and restrictions.
Los Padres National Forest prohibits campfires in Santa Barbara front country
Fire restrictions are still in effect in the Santa Barbara front country. This prohibition will remain in effect through Feb 24, 2024.
NOTE: This prohibition does not include the following campgrounds on the Santa Barbara and Santa Lucia Ranger Districts: Fremont, Paradise, Los Prietos, Upper Oso, Figueroa Mountain, Davy Brown and Nira.
Campfires are prohibited on National Forest System lands in the Santa Barbara front country due to the increasing fire danger and the potential threat to downslope communities.
Over the past 15 years, eight large wildfires have directly impacted the front country communities of Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria. Extreme fire weather events are now occurring year-round and are compounded by the long-term, severe drought affecting Central and So. California.
Front country visitors possessing a valid CA Campfire Permit will be permitted to use portable lanterns or stoves that run on propane, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.
Target Shooting Restrictions
Firearms Prohibition Forest Order: Effective February 15, 2023 through December 31, 2024