Fire-Ravaged Natl. Forest Area to Stay Closed
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After the devastating White Fire last week in Southern California’s Santa Ynez Valley, Los Padres National Forest officials have closed off several campgrounds indefinitely including the popular Red Rock swimming hole, KEYT-TV, Santa Barbara, reported.
The order issued May 31 closed all areas beyond the first river crossing on Paradise Road.
This includes going into the area by car or other means.
Los Padres National Forest Public Information Officer Matthew Traynham said, “You can’t walk across, you can’t hike across, you can’t jog, bike or drive. It’s closed to the public until further notice.”
Work is taking place to make sure trails and roadways are safe for the public. That could take weeks.
For campground host Chris Corney, the job he had at the Upper Oso campground is on hold during the closure. He will take a big hit, but is scrambling to find some replacement work, possible at another campground.
“We’re dry and very disappointed in the way the season has turned out the way it has,” said Corney.
Over the weekend, he saw many people come into the area to see the fire damage, and try to get up the road. They were turned away.
The Forest Service says some people violated the closure rule by crossing the river and getting into the burn zone. That led to tighter restrictions including the closure of the First Crossing parking lot.
Other areas of Paradise Road, and the Paradise Store are open despite the issues related to the fire zone.
Along the road, some residents put up some signs thanking the fire crews for their efforts.