Most of California remains under the threat of unprecedented and dangerous fire conditions with a combination of extreme heat, significant wind events, dry conditions, and firefighting resources that are stretched to the limit. Due to these conditions, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing the following temporary closures and fire restrictions to provide for public safety and reduce the potential for human-caused fire ignitions. The closures will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Monday, September 7, 2020, and will be re-evaluated daily as conditions chan
1. Closure of all national forests in California. FIRE DANGER
2. Prohibition of the use of any ignition source on all National Forest System lands (campfires, gas stoves, etc.) throughout California.
“The wildfire situation throughout California is dangerous and must be taken seriously,” said Randy Moore, Regional Forester for the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region. “Existing fires are displaying extreme fire behavior, new fire starts are likely, weather conditions are worsening, and we simply do not have enough resources to fully fight and contain every fire.”FIRE DANGER
An example of extreme fire behavior is the Creek Fire on the Sierra National Forest, which began on Friday, Sept. 4, at 6:30 p.m., and has grown rapidly. The fire made a 15-mile run in a single day and burned 36,000 acres, prompting evacuations and lifesaving measures. The California National Guard evacuated at least 200 people from Wagner Mammoth Pool Campground.
”“We are bringing every resource to bear nationally and internationally to fight these fires, but until conditions improve and we are confident that National Forest visitors can recreate safely, the priority is always to protect the public and our firefighters,” Moore continued, “With these extreme conditions, these temporary actions will help us do both.” FIRE DANGER
The Forest Service manages 18 national forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, which encompasses over 20 million acres across California. National forests supply 50 percent of the water in California and form the watershed of most major aqueducts and more than 2,400 reservoirs throughout the state.
*ADDITIONAL CLOSURES AND RESTRICTIONS:
• On Monday, Sept. 7, as of 2 pm, the State of California evacuated and closed Mountain Home State Demonstration Forest due to the Sequoia Complex (Sequoia National Forest) fire.
• Also on Monday, Sept. 7, Yosemite National Park closed the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias located near the park’s south entrance. The closure is a precaution in the event that the fast-moving Creek Fire (Sierra National Forest) reaches the area.
• On Monday, Sept. 7, Silver City Mountain Resort in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park announced its closure for at least the next week due to unhealthy smoke conditions.
• As of Tuesday, Sept. 8, there is a parks-wide ban on campfires and smoking in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. FIRE DANGER
*Updates on closures will continue to be posted here.
Here’s a look around the region at air quality due to the 60,000-acre Sequoia (SQF) Complex Fire:
FIRE SEASON 2020
FIRE SEASON 2020: Creek, SQF Complex, Rattlesnake, and Moraine fires
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