In the United States, 58,000 wildfires burned last year according to the United States Forest Service. Right now, a forest order is in place for the Los Padres National Forest.
“Right now in the Los Padres National Forest, unless you're on a developed campsite, we're not permitting open charcoal or wood fires. So basically, anything that produces ash, we're asking you to refrain from. We don't know when the weather's going to change, just for human safety—for the safety of our firefighters,” said Forest Service Captain Fred Pena.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 93% of fires in California are caused by humans, and in the Los Padres National Forest, that number is the same.
However, campers heading to the area do have another option for their campsites.
“The California Camp Fire Permit that I'm referring to is for petroleum, propane, anything that doesn't produce ash. You can still have those kinds of fires if you wanted to go out and have a propane fire in those areas with a California campfire permit,” said Captain Pena.
The Forest Service asks campers to clean up after themselves and to leave the campsites as they found them, or even better.
Fires aren't the only concern Forest Service officials are watching out for this summer, COVID-19 cases among staff across the 220 square mile area of the Forest also present challenges.
“There's times where we're 100% full capacity and there's times where it might hit one affected area where we have to augment staffing and start moving around a little bit more, we might have to travel a little further,” Pena told KSBY.