Monterey County

Campfires on the holiday weekend raise caution

Campfires on the holiday weekend raise caution

New campfire regulations

Michael Heffner and his wife Kelly came to Lake San Antonio all the way from Los Angeles for Memorial Day weekend in their RV.

"We are just here to spend the weekend, kayak, get away and have some fun," said Heffner.

They've been camping all over the country for 20 years from Zion National Park to Colorado River.

They are planning to do some kayaking, hiking, and biking this weekend. One of their favorite activities didn't make the 'to do' list on this camping trip.

"I think just to gather around the warmth and the camaraderie and communication," said Kelly.

Kelly and Michael enjoy a nice camp fire when the sun goes down, but seeing the wild fires down south, their cautious not to take that chance in the drought.

"We have to be cognizant of how dry it is, even the color change on the grass-so when you see the grass change color you know everything is dry and likely to catch on fire so you have to be super careful," said Kelly.

The rangers at Lake San Antonio say they have experienced ground fires before, and do extra patrols to make sure if people are lighting a fire they are being extra cautions. Even Calfire launched a new online system to issue permits for campfires. It includes a video and safety test. Last week Los Padres National Forest announced level three fire restrictions that includes a ban on wood and charcoal fires. Kelly and Michael decided to pass on a campfire this weekend.

"Just to get away from Southern California the hustle and bustle get away from everybody and all the traffic," said Michael.

Just being together and on a vacation is enough for them.

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