A shift in weather patterns has prompted authorities to lift a ban on issuing burn permits in some areas of the county.
The Ventura County Fire Department and California Department of Foresty and Fire Protection have made the seasonal change, prompted by rainfall totals and moisture levels in the vegetation.
The change affects agricultural burning, controlled burn projects and the level of response to wildland fires. Agricultural burn permits can be obtained at local county fire stations.
The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District must be contacted the evening before a planned burn to find out the current burn status. The district can be contacted at 654-2807.
County fire officials likely will continue the Buena Ventura Burn Project shortly. The controlled burn north of the city of Ventura started in 2013. Officials said they will notify the public before any burning in the area.
Los Padres National Forest officials say rainfall totals also has dampened vegetation enough to transition out of "high fire season" on the federal land and reduce fire restrictions.
Under those reduced restrictions, campfires and charcoal barbeques will be allowed, though a California campfire permit is required to build a fire outside of a designated campfire-use site. Permits are available to download at http://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf.
Restrictions on smoking and target shooting in the forest also are being lifted.
Other restrictions remain in place, including those requiring spark arresters on off-highway vehicles, chain saws, and other engines; and those requiring a permit for welding, grinding, cutting, or use of explosives. Tracer ammunition and fireworks also are prohibited in the forest at all times.
More information on conditions and restrictions is available from local ranger stations. The Ojai ranger station can be reached at 646-4348.
While wildfire danger has decreased, fires can still happen during winter months. Authorities urge county residents to maintain defensible space around their properties and roads. More information is available at http://fire.countyofventura.org.
From staff reports
Oxnard police are investigating shootings overnight that left one man with critical injuries.
Authorities said they found a 35-year-old Oxnard man with multiple gunshot wounds when they responded to the 700 block of South Oxnard Boulevard about 1:30 a.m. He was taken to Ventura County Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, police said.
Several minutes later, a woman called 911 to report she had been shot. She was at a local restaurant on North Oxnard Boulevard, police said.
She was taken to St. John's Regional Medical Center with what police described as a serious but non-life-threatening gunshot wound to her leg.
Witnesses said a man had walked up to a group of a people in a parking lot in the 700 block of South Oxnard Boulevard and shot the Oxnard man as he talked to friends.
The woman, a 35-year-old from out of state, was shot as she attempted to run away, police said.
Investigators believe the man was the intended victim and the woman was not, police said.
Authorities do not have a motive and are continuing to investigate.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Scott Coe at 385-7796, or the violent crimes hotline at 982-7070. People also can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.