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Home » Santa Clarita News » County Officials Caution Santa Clarita Hikers During Fire Season
County Officials Caution Santa Clarita Hikers During Fire Season

County Officials Caution Santa Clarita Hikers During Fire Season

“The potential for fire is very large this summer,” said Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Keith Mora. “It’s going to be a rough summer.”


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With a 149-acre brush fire in Valencia on Tuesday, the Powerhouse fire still only 15 percent contained, and hot, dry conditions expected to continue, it is especially important that anyone hiking in Santa Clarita hills take extra precautions.

The hikers initially reported missing in connection with the Powerhouse fire have all been accounted for. While Mora didn’t know the details of their situation, he said that a lack of preparation is probably the biggest mistake hikers and campers make.

Brush fires cannot always be avoided, but if you have a plan and a means to communicate with authorities, the chances of becoming trapped or injured are much less.

Start by knowing your terrain. Never hike in unfamiliar territory where it is easy to get lost. Make sure the trail has fire breaks, or safe areas clear of brush and always plan what Mora called a “secondary egress,” two routes of escape from the area.

Never leave without telling a family member or close friend where you will be hiking, or better yet take someone with you. Contact the local ranger station as well. This will make it easier for them to find you in the event of an emergency.

Take a cell phone and a GPS device. If you encounter a fire, texting is often the best means of communication, especially if cell towers have been affected.  

Always pack more water and food than you think you will need, in case you get stranded.

And most importantly, never use any devices that generate heat or fire, such as matches or lighters.

“The Los Angeles County Fire Department would like everybody to enjoy their summer, enjoy hiking, going out and having their fun,” Mora said. “It is always good to have certain precautions in place, certain safety checks in place.”

In addition, the Angeles National Forest Service has provided a fire danger scale and a list of things to avoid depending on conditions.

Fire Danger

Angeles National Forest Fire Danger Levels

Low

  • No Fireworks
  • No shooting of tracer, armor piercing, steel core, or Teflon ammunition.
  • Welding, grinding, cutting and use of explosives only with proper permit.
  • Spark arrestors are required on off-highway vehicles, chainsaws and other equipment.
  • Wood and charcoal fires in designated sites only, in agency-provided campfire rings and stoves.
  • Gas and petroleum jelly stoves only outside of designated sites with a valid California Campfire Permit.
  • Smoking in enclosed vehicles, developed recreation sites or areas cleared 3-foot in diameter.

Moderate

  • All previous restrictions apply.
  • Certain geographic areas may be closed due to special circumstances.

High

  • All previous restrictions apply.
  • Additional geographic areas may be closed due to special circumstances.

Very High

  • All previous restrictions apply.
  • Additional geographic areas may be closed due to special circumstances.

Extreme

  • All previous restrictions apply.
  • Smoking only in enclosed vehicles or buildings
  • Entry into the National Forest is restricted to certain developed sites. Those sites will typically be within 1/4 mile of state or county highways.
  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire is prohibited.
  • Forest Supervisor may designate locations with special circumstances where dispersed recreation and/or day use can be allowed. Contact the District Office for more information.

Critical

  • Entry into the Angeles National Forest is restricted to state and county highways . All Forest Service sites are closed during these times, EXCEPT ranger stations, fire stations and the supervisors office.
  • The Forest Supervisor may designate areas or certain developed sites to be open.

Stay updated on the Powerhouse fire on our website and Facebook page. Click here for fire danger updates from the Angeles National Forest Service.


Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at community@hometownstation.com.




Source: Santa Clarita News


County Officials Caution Santa Clarita Hikers During Fire Season

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