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ARCADIA – With a significant amount of rain and snow recorded across most of the Angeles National Forest recently, fire managers downgraded the fire danger level to “very high” from “extreme.”

This change will allow areas previously closed due the extreme rating to reopen.

However, “very high” fire restrictions still apply, including no use of campfires, camp stoves, or BBQs throughout the forest.

These restrictions will be reevaluated in the coming weeks as we see moisture levels increase through further precipitation.

“Although these recent rains have brought much-needed relief, it will take a series of winter storms to bring the forest’s fuel moisture levels out of a critical stage,” said Robert Garcia, fire chief of the Angeles National Forest.

Fire restrictions on the Angeles National Forest are determined by a graduated system that becomes more restrictive as fire danger levels increase, and less restrictive as conditions improve. The “low” fire danger level is the lowest level of a six-level, graduated fire danger rating system.

A variety of factors determine the level, including the moisture in vegetation, weather conditions and nationwide firefighting resource needs.

Current fire restrictions include:

· Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, throughout the national forest and national monument.

· Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

· Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torches with open flame.

· Discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun, except in the authorized public shooting ranges. A person with a valid permit for the Forest Service or hunting with a valid California hunting license may discharge a firearm according to their permit or license.

· All previous restrictions apply.

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