The following press release was issued by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service
The USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region will end its closure order affecting California national forests at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 15, two days prior to the original end date of Sept. 17. Five national forests, however, will remain closed based on their individual, forest-specific closure orders. These forests are the Angeles, Cleveland, Eldorado, Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests.
Fire restrictions remain across all California national forests, so visitors are advised to consult with local Forest Service staff to obtain information on closures and restrictions specific to the forest being visited.
Select campgrounds, trails and trailheads remain closed on the Mendocino National Forest because of safety hazards created by last year’s August Complex wildfires. A list of closed sites can be found in Forest Order No. 08-21-02.
“We are constantly evaluating weather and fire conditions in California, as well as regional and national firefighting resources available to us so that we can ensure the safety of the public and our firefighters,” Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien said. “Some factors are more favorable now, which is why I decided to end the regional closure order. I want to thank the public and our partners for their patience and understanding during these challenging times.”
Factors leading to the early termination of the regional closure order included:
- Anticipated increase of firefighting resources available to California due to fire danger lessening in other areas of the country.
- Regional weather systems becoming more variable as the seasons change, leading to less uniform conditions across California. Where weather and fire danger remain high, tailored fire restrictions and closures remain in place locally and may be added where necessary.
- Forest visitation tapering off significantly since the Labor Day holiday weekend, reducing the likelihood of human-caused ignitions.
- Recognition of the important role national forests play in peoples’ livelihood and quality of life.
The Forest Service thanks its partners and the public for their cooperation and understanding. Citizens with specific questions within their area should consult their local forest website or social media pages for more information.