Forest fire danger raised to 'very high'

The fire danger in Angeles National Forest was raised Friday to ``very high'' officials said, noting that annual grasses have dried, temperatures are rising, relative humidity is dropping and fire activity across the state is increasing.

"Elevating the fire danger enhances public awareness that wildfire probability increases as temperatures rise and brush dries out,'' said Nathan Judy of the U.S. Forest Service.
Open wood and charcoal fires will continue to be allowed in approved,
developed campgrounds and picnic areas equipped with steel rings or stoves, he
said.

"Propane or jellied gas stoves and grills are permitted in non- developed areas with a valid California Campfire Permit,'' he said. ``Smoking is allowed in enclosed vehicle or developed recreation sites only.''

Drivers are advised to stay on designated roads and never park on dry brush or grass, Judy said, adding that 94 percent of all wildfires in Angeles National Forest are caused by people.

The public should also remember that all fireworks are prohibited by federal law throughout the national forest system and that violators could face a $5,000 fine and/or six months in jail, Judy said.

"Also, anyone causing a wildfire is liable for all costs of suppressing the fire,'' he said.

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