More National Forests in California are set to close Wednesday due to extremely dangerous fire conditions throughout the state that will likely get worse with the arrival of strong winds this week.
Eldorado National Forest, Klamath National Forest, Lassen National Forest, Mendocino National Forest, Modoc National Forest, Six Rivers National Forest, Plumas National Forest, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Tahoe National Forest, and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Prior to the forests mentioned above, a total of eight forests were closed Monday, Sept. 7 when a fire that started Sunday in Angeles National Forest grew to more than 4,000 acres Monday morning. East of San Bernardino, another fire that started at a gender reveal party Saturday ballooned to 7,300 acres and forced thousands of evacuations.
“The number of large fires and extreme fire behavior we are seeing across the State is historic,” said Regional Forester Randy Moore. “These temporary closures are necessary to protect the public and our firefighters, and we will keep them in place until conditions improve and we are confident that National Forest visitors can recreate safely."
"I ask all Californians and visitors to take these closures and evacuations seriously for their own safety and to allow our firefighters to focus on the mission of safely suppressing these fires," Moore said.
Stanislaus National Forest, Inyo National Forest, Sierra National Forest and Sequoia National Forest also will be closed. On Sunday, more than 200 people were airlifted by helicopter to safety after a fire blocked a road at a campground in Sierra National Forest.
Restrictions were also imposed on national forest lands throughout the
state that were not ordered to close. U.S. Forest Service officials said all ignition sources, such as campfires and gas stoves, will be prohibited across national forest system lands in California.
Developed campgrounds and day-use sites in national forests throughout
the state will also be closed until further notice.
Dry conditions and triple-digit heat were locked in across much of California during Labor Day weekend. In Southern California, strong wind gusts are expected to arrive Tuesday through Wednesday, making already brutal fire conditions even worse.
Through August, CAL FIRE reported more than 6,000 wildfires that burned more than 1 million acres in California. The staggering numbers are due largely to several complexes of fires in the Greater Bay Area.