Los Padres Milky Way

Friends watch the Milky Way during a socially distant camping trip in Los Padres National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service announced Sep. 14 that the blanket closure of all national forests in California, a wildfire preventative measure that went into effect Sep. 1 and was slated to last through Sep. 17, has ended as of Sept. 15. 

However, Los Padres National Forest, which encompasses most of Big Sur but also stretches south into Santa Barbara County, will remain closed to the public through Sept. 22. 

In a Sept. 15 statement, the Forest Service announced that ongoing high fire risk and depleted firefighting resources across the state led to the decision to extend the closure of all Southern California national forests, which includes Los Padres.

The statement adds that hot and dry conditions in the state's forests are "likely to worsen" in the coming weeks. 

There are 11 uncontained fires currently burning in national forest land in the state, which are being fought by approximately 15,000 firefighting personnel.  

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