Californians have seen the national forests in the northern part of the state close in recent days because of unprecedented—well, slightly precedented—wildfire conditions. This is an extraordinary measure in an extraordinary time.
Fire resources are stretched thin, and to protect the safety of firefighters and to prevent further blazes, the forest service insists these steps are necessary.
“Fires are running very quickly due to the drought conditions, dry fuels, and winds. This makes initial attack and containment very difficult and is even more challenging with strained resources who are battling more than 100 large fires across the country,” said Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien. “We do not take this decision lightly and understand how this impacts people who enjoy recreating on the National Forests. These temporary closures are necessary to ensure public and firefighter safety, as well as reduce the potential for new fire starts. I want to thank the public for your patience during this challenging situation.”
In California, the closed national forests include: Affected forests include:
•Klamath National Forest
•Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
•Lassen National Forest
•Mendocino National Forest
•Modoc National Forest
•Plumas National Forest
•Shasta-Trinity National Forest
•Six Rivers National Forest
•Tahoe National Forest
More than halfway across the nation, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has been closed for a week by the USFS.