The fire danger level in the Angeles National Forest will be raised from “high” to “very high” on Friday because fuel moisture levels in shrubs and brush have decreased, but no new campfire restrictions are planned, a spokesman said Wednesday.

“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.

The following guidelines remain in effect:

— open wood and charcoal fires will still be permitted in approved “developed” campgrounds and picnic areas where a steel ring or stoves are provided;

— propane or jellied-gas stoves and grills are permitted in non- developed areas with a valid California Campfire Permit;

— smoking is allowed in enclosed vehicles or developed recreation sites only; and

— all fireworks are prohibited on national forest system lands; possession or use of fireworks, including the “safe and sane” variety, is prohibited at all times in the ANF under federal law.

Forest patrols will be conducted over the Fourth of July weekend, during which authorities will strictly enforce the no-fireworks policy. A violation of the law can result in 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.

Forest visitors should check spark arrestors — required year-round — on off-road vehicles, chain saws and other equipment with internal-combustion engines to ensure they are in working order, and drivers in the forest should stay on designated roads and never park on dry brush or grass to avoid the risk of starting a fire.

Human-caused wildfires account for 94 percent of all wildfires on the ANF, which damage natural resources and threaten lives and property, Judy said.

Forest visitors can find out about local conditions at their destination by visiting the website

—City News Service

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