Nine northern California National Forests surrounding the Eastern Sierra are temporarily closing starting tomorrow night, Aug. 22, including the nearby Tahoe, Modoc, and Plumas National Forests through at least Sept. 6.
The Inyo National Forest, which received some monsoonal rains this summer and is located at a higher elevation than most forests, is still open at this time.
The news came Friday from the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region, which stated the high fire danger was the reason.
The closure goes into effect Sunday night, at one minute to midnight.
“Fires are running very quickly due to the drought conditions, dry fuels, and winds,” said Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien. “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. 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.”
The closure order can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xF7EM.
Affected forests include:
Klamath National Forest
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Lassen National Forest
Mendocino National Forest
Modoc National Fores
Plumas National Forest
Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Six Rivers National Forest
Tahoe National Forest
Additionally, the Eldorado National Forest is currently closed due to the Caldor Fire until Sept. 30 and has a separate list of exemptions. You can find more info here:https://www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado.
More than 6,500 wildfires have burned 1.2 million acres across all jurisdictions in California, and the Northern California Geographic Area has been at Preparedness Level 5 since Aug. 5, 2021 – indicating the highest level of wildland fire activity.