Los Padres National Forest

Explore Los Padres National Forest

Encompassing almost two million acres, Los Padres National Forest spans some of the most ruggedly beautiful landscapes to be found anywhere in California

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  • Wildfire Alert - the Lake Fire

    Image of a mountain with flames and smoke rising above

    On July 5, 2024, firefighters from the Los Padres National Forest and Santa Barbara County Fire responded to a vegetation fire near Zaca Lake that grew rapidly through grass and brush during a prolonged heat wave across the west coast. A significant number of firefighting resources are working the incident, including hand crews, engines, dozers, and air resources for water and retardant drops. The fire is under Unified Command with California Complex Incident Management Team 13, Santa Barbara County Fire and CAL FIRE.

  • Coastal Zone Visitor Use Management Plan

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    The Coastal Zone Visitor Use Management strategy for the Big Sur coast has been completed following extensive collaboration with partners, user groups, residents, and local agencies over the past three years. This comprehensive strategy sets forth the guiding principles for developing a sustainable implementation plan to address the growing number of visitors to the Big Sur coast.


Remembering Patrick Lieske - Forest Wildlife Biologist

Patrick Liekse

Family, friends and colleagues were stunned and grief stricken upon learning that Los Padres Wildlife, Range, and Botany Program Manager Patrick Lieske suffered a fatal injury while mountain biking April 15. Patrick had gone out for one of his grueling rides Monday evening and was reported missing early the next morning. Search and rescue teams from Santa Barbara, Ventura and Kern Counties were instrumental in locating Patrick April 18 along the Santa Ynez River following a two-day search of the area.

Patrick’s colleagues remember him as a dedicated public servant who took great pride in his work.

He was upfront and forward and I believe this was his way of giving the wildlife of the forest a voice,"said Dr. Nicole Molinari, who worked with Patrick for many years. He took his duties and obligations as a wildlife biologist seriously and in so doing he’s created a legacy for the protection of animals on the Los Padres.” 

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Los Padres Fire Captain Jack Reimers receives award for outstanding service

Jack Reimers

Captain Jack Reimers was recently awarded for his outstanding service, effective leadership and tireless efforts facilitating training opportunities for his fellow employees on the Los Padres National Forest.

A dedicated firefighter of twenty years, Jack has given his entire career thus far to the Los Padres NF. Jack started his career in 2004 on the Ojai Sundowners handcrew. He worked several seasons both on the Sundowners and on Engine 51 based out of Casitas Lake. In 2008, he became an apprentice and worked on Helicopter 528 in Santa Ynez later becoming fire engine operator on Engine 51. During this time he also worked a detail as Patrol 51 serving the Ojai Ranger District as a fire prevention pfficer. In 2018, he was promoted to Engine Captain on E-343 at Rincon Station, serving there on the Santa Barbara Ranger District for three seasons. In 2021, he returned to the District Office in Ojai as Engine Captain 352 where he is currently stationed.

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