The U.S. Forest Service announced Labor Day that eight national forests in California closed to the public starting at 5:00 PM Monday.
In Southern California, the closures affect Los Padres National Forest, Angeles National Forest, San Bernardino National Forest, and Cleveland National Forest. In Northern and Central California, Stanislaus National Forest, Sierra National Forest, Sequoia National Forest, and Inyo National Forest are impacted.
In a news release, the USFS stated, “Most of California remains under the threat of unprecedented and dangerous fire conditions with a combination of extreme heat, significant wind events, dry conditions, and firefighting resources that are stretched to the limit.
In addition to the full closures of the above mentioned forests, the USFS is prohibiting the use of any ignition source on all National Forest System lands (campfires, gas stoves, etc.) throughout California as well as the closure of all developed campgrounds and day-use sites on National Forests in California.
There is no indication on when the forests will reopen or the regulations eased.
“The wildfire situation throughout California is dangerous and must be taken seriously. Existing fires are displaying extreme fire behavior, new fire starts are likely, weather conditions are worsening, and we simply do not have enough resources to fully fight and contain every fire,” said Randy Moore, Regional Forester for the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region. “We are bringing every resource to bear nationally and internationally to fight these fires, but until conditions improve, and we are confident that National Forest visitors can recreate safely, the priority is always to protect the public and our firefighters. With these extreme conditions, these temporary actions will help us do both.”