With only about a week before California schools open, several popular national forest recreation areas and campgrounds are closing or have closed because of wildfires in the Sierras and the southern Cascades, according to the Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection and as reported by The East Bay Times.
Along Highway 108 west of Sonora Pass. Burned: 23,824 acres (37 square miles), 55 structures destroyed; 5% contained. Last Sunday the fire destroyed Dardanelle Resort (except for its motel) and now is burning toward the east, along the Clark and Middle forks of the Stanislaus River, sweeping through campgrounds in the Stanislaus National Forest. Columns of the Giants, a geological formation that has sport-climbing routes, is in the burn zone.
Carson-Iceberg Wilderness has been closed, as has Spicer Meadows Reservoir, although the campsites on its shores are still open. Highway 108 is closed between Eagle Meadow Road and Sonora Pass. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Sonora Pass north to Ebbetts Pass, on Highway 4.
Along Highway 299 east of Burney. Burned: 2,500 acres (4 square miles); 15% contained. In its first day, the Hat Fire burned across Highway 299 in the town of Fall River Mills and into Lassen National Forest near McArthur-Burney Falls State Park. The highway is closed between the town’s Main Street and Cassel Road.
In the Feather River Canyon near Belden. Burned: 117 acres; 30% contained. This fire isn’t big, but because it’s in a section of canyon where fires historically go out of control, firefighters are restricting vehicle and foot traffic. One-way traffic controls are in place on Highway 70, and part of the Plumas National Forest has been closed north of the highway. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed between Belden and Highway 36.