Closure extended for all national forests in California through Sept. 21 due to wildfires

California

Federal officials have extended the closure of California’s national forests through Sept. 21 as wildfires continue to devastate the West.

The U.S. Forest Service initially shut down eight forests on Sept. 7 before expanding its order to include all of the state’s 18 national forests two days later.

Citing “unprecedented fire danger, the agency on Monday extended the closure for another week.

Forest Service officials for the Pacific southwest region said they will review the decision on a daily basis.

The shutdown includes campgrounds, resorts and other recreation sites managed by the Forest Service or those operated under special permit with some local exceptions, officials said.

Those who have reservations will be notified and receive refunds through recreation.gov. The Forest Service website has an FAQ page with more information.

The sprawling forests remain closed as firefighters work to contain massive wildfires burning across the state, including the Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest and the El Dorado Fire in the San Bernardino National Forest.

The two fires, which exploded during record-breaking heat 1 1/2 weeks ago, have burned more than 58,000 acres combined. They continue to threaten foothill residents in the San Gabriel Valley and communities in the Yucaipa area.

The risk of new fires will remain high for “several more months,” Forest Service officials warned.

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