Extreme fire conditions prompt closure of Forest Service campgrounds, day-use sites statewide
While the U.S. Forest Service announced the closure of several national forests in Southern California due to unprecedented fire conditions “with a combination of extreme heat, significant wind events, dry conditions, and firefighting resources that are stretched to the limit,” it is also prohibiting the use of any ignition source throughout the state’s national forest system and closing all developed campgrounds and day-use sites.
The temporary closures and fire restrictions are meant to increase public safety and reduce the potential for human caused fire starts.
The new closures and restrictions will go into effect at 5 p.m. today: Monday, Sept. and will be re-evaluated daily as conditions change, according to a press release.
The following National Forests will be closed: Stanislaus National Forest, Sierra National Forest, Sequoia National Forest, Inyo National Forest, Los Padres National Forest, Angeles National Forest, San Bernardino National Forest, and Cleveland National Forest.
Campfires, and gas stoves are prohibited in the national forest.
Local campgrounds include:
Camp 4 Group Campsite and Day Use Area
Cattle Camp Campground
Fowlers Camp Campground
Harris Spring Campground
Trout Creek Campground
Mt. Shasta Area
Castle Lake Campground
McBride Springs Campground
Panther Meadows Campground
Sims Flat Campground
“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.”
An example of extreme fire behavior is the Creek Fire on the Sierra National Forest which began on Friday, Sep. 4 and grew rapidly on Saturday, Sep. 5. The fire made a 15-mile run in a single day and burned 36,000 acres, prompting evacuations and life saving measures. The California National Guard evacuated at least 200 people from Wagner Mammoth Pool Campground and assessed them for medical needs.