By Russ and Tiña De Maris
All of California’s U.S. National Forests closed in an unprecedented move toward safety. Earlier, eight of the Golden State forests were shut down. On Wednesday officials closed the last ten.
The National Forests closed as a measure labeled as “temporary.” Service officials will eyeball the situation on a daily basis. The newest closures on the list are:
- Eldorado National Forest
- Klamath National Forest
- Lassen National Forest
- Mendocino National Forest
- Modoc National Forest
- Six Rivers National Forest
- Plumas National Forest
- Shasta-Trinity National Forest
- Tahoe National Forest
- Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
A press release from the Forest Service’s Randy Moore said this: “These temporary closures are necessary to protect the public and our firefighters, and we will keep them in place until conditions improve and we are confident that National Forest visitors can recreate safely. I ask all Californians and visitors to take these closures and evacuations seriously for their own safety and to allow our firefighters to focus on the mission of safely suppressing these fires.” Moore is a regional forester.
A statewide closure of National Forests is unprecedented. But wildfires have been an increasing problem for both private and public landholders in California. In 2018, the tragic Camp Fire in Paradise, California, wiped out an entire town. Residents are still struggling to get their lives back. Just how this year’s fire season will go down in the record books is anyone’s guess. Still, a statewide closure of National Forests is mind-boggling.
Incidentally, those who ignore the closure to enter the forests will be subject to a fine of $5,000 and a possible six-month jail stint.