All California national forests to be closed due to wildfires

Published August 31, 2021, 12:17 PM

by Xinhua

LOS ANGELES — The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service will close all 20 million acres (some 80,937 square km) of California’s national forests to public for two weeks from Tuesday midnight.

A cabin that firefighters had covered in structure wrap stands unburned next to a structure that wasnt after a firestorm swept through upper Slick Rock Canyon during the French Fire on August 26, 2021 near Wofford Heights, California. DAVID MCNEW / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

A statement signed Monday by California’s Regional Forester, Jennifer M. Eberlien, said the authority had made the difficult decision “to better provide public and firefighter safety due to the ongoing California wildfire crisis.” This closure was scheduled to start from Tuesday and to expire after Sept. 17, the statement said.

Last week, Forest Service’s nine national forests in Northern California had been closed due to extreme fire conditions throughout the state and strained firefighting resources throughout the country.

Monday’s statement also disclosed that more than 6,800 wildfires had burned 1.7 million acres (some 6879.7 square km) across all jurisdictions in California, and the National Wildfire Preparedness Level (PL) had been at PL5 since July 14. It was only the third time in the past 20 years that the nation reached PL5 by mid-July — indicating the highest level of wildland fire activity.