On my Saturday morning hike up Painted Cave Road, I found a most disturbing encampment at the "Party Pullout" below the Barnett's property. You know the spot. My friend Raul, the paper carrier, reported to me that another group of equal size had been partying the night away on East Camino Cielo. He is a reliable source. So, at least two of these types of gatherings occurred in the mountains last night while we slept. The group I encountered told me they were from Santa Barbara, and that they had decided to stay in the mountains, rather than drive home. With the remnants of the Cave Fire in the foreground of the photo I posted, and with the West Coast burning, we have a very real threat facing us with these social media driven events. Ted Adams of the WRA and Painted Cave, and retired fire fighter, Jan Rohrbach, of the Trout Club are both extremely alarmed at the escalation of human activity in the mountains. I concur with their alarm bells. I am ready and able to take this to another level, including going to the federal level to get the USFS to reverse their laissez faire approach. Our local officials were very responsive to our requests for more patrols during last weekend's Red Flag conditions, and now only one week later we have two big party scenes going on last night and many more certainly to follow. Game on!
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Great picture, Gordon. On a side note I want to give the Mountain Ember Team a great shout out for the work they did to make the area a bit safer from fire by their weedwhipping work. Also, a shout out to all, including Katie A who take time out of their busy schedules to pick up the trash left behind by disrespectful visitors. (On a side note, in addition to unsightly trash, Katie A and myself took three truck loads of illegally dumped concrete from this area this past week.)
Again, thank you all for your combined good and hard work.