Wednesday , July 24 2024
US Forest Service closes national forests in California due to fire risk

Extreme fire danger closes national forests in California

The U.S. Forest Service has announced the closure of all national forests in California until September 17.  The closures are due to the extreme fire danger and according to a press release the decision was made to, “better provide public and firefighter safety due to the ongoing California wildfire crisis.”

The statement went on to say, “By temporarily reducing the numbers of people on national forests, the U.S. Forest Service hopes to minimize the likelihood that visitors could become entrapped on National Forest System lands during emergency circumstances.”

The closure order will also decrease the potential for new fire starts at a time of extremely limited firefighting resources, and enhance firefighter and community safety by limiting exposure that occurs in public evacuation situations.

Due to state-wide conditions, any new fire starts have the potential for large and rapid fire growth with a high risk to life and property. The government is doing everything it can to fight these fires and will continue to do so, but the conditions dictate the need for this region-wide closure order. Forecasts show that conditions this season are trending the same or worse as we move into late summer and fall.

More than 6,800 wildfires have burned 1.7 million acres across all jurisdictions in California, and the National Wildfire Preparedness Level (PL) has been at PL5 since July 14, 2021, only the third time in the past 20 years that the nation has reached PL 5 by mid-July – indicating the highest level of wildland fire activity.

Citizens with specific questions within their area should consult their local forest website or social media pages for more information.

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