Update: State lands and national forests reopen in California
Update at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Thursday reopened 34 of its public lands around the state.
The state's action coincides with the reopening of most of the federal national forests in California on Wednesday.
State wildlife and other lands managed by the department were closed last month due to wildfire danger, but as wildfire danger has subsided, some areas were allowed to again open to the public.
While many areas are again open, some wildlife areas are still closed.
"Some CDFW wildlife areas and ecological reserves that lie within or immediately adjacent to USDA Forest Service boundaries will remain closed to support emergency response routes, firefighting efforts and to protect public safety," according to a CDFW news release.
The fish and wildlife department urges hunters, anglers and others to visit CDFW’s emergency closures webpage for the most current list of areas that are closed.
The U.S. Forest Service has announced many national forests in California, including the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, will reopen this week.
Other North State forests reopening this week include the Lassen National Forest and the Klamath National Forest, according to an announcement sent from the forest service's regional office in Vallejo.
However, forest service land where active fires are burning, such as the Dixie Fire, will remain closed, the forest service said.
While most national forests opened Wednesday, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest based in Redding, will reopen after 11:59 p.m. Friday, forest officials said in a Facebook post.
The openings on national forests do not affect closures in national parks, such as Lassen Volcanic National Park, which remains closed.
In early September, park officials said areas in Lassen park could be off-limits to the public until next summer, maybe longer, as the North State landmark works to recover from the devastation of the fire. Park officials are especially concerned about trees that were damaged by the fire and the potential risk to visitors.
Park spokesman Kevin Sweeney has said the park can't say when areas that are deemed safe would reopen. Lassen closed Aug. 5 after the fire entered the park's southeast corner near the Juniper Lake area.
Some parts of national forests will also remain closed. Closures for the Monument Fire, River Complex, McFarland Fire, Antelope Fire, Salt Fire, and the Lava Fire will remain in effect for firefighter and public safety until the forest service lifts the fire closures at a later date, officials said.
Fire restrictions remain in effect on national forests to prevent new fire starts, officials said.
The forest service closed its lands throughout the state Aug. 31 because of extremely dry conditions, fire danger and active fires burning throughout California.
Forest officials said weather conditions reduced fire threat and allowed them to reopen most of the federal land this week.
However, the Eldorado National Forest in the Sierra Nevada will remain closed until Sept. 30. Four Southern California national forests — the Los Padres, Angeles, San Bernardino, and Cleveland National Forests — will remain closed until Sept. 22, officials said.
Record Searchlight reporter David Benda contributed to this report.
Damon Arthur is the Record Searchlight’s resources and environment reporter. He is among the first on the scene at breaking news incidents, reporting real time on Twitter at @damonarthur_RS. Damon is part of a dedicated team of journalists who investigate wrongdoing and find the unheard voices to tell the stories of the North State. He welcomes story tips at 530-338-8834 and email@example.com. Help local journalism thrive by subscribing today!