Officials on Friday issued the emergency closure of the San Bernardino National Forest in the aftermath of powerful winter storms that pummeled the region.
The forest will be closed through March 16, according to the order.
That means going into the forest and being on any road or trail within the forest will be prohibited.
Those with valid permits, residents, or any federal state or local public safety officials and emergency crews are exempt from the closure.
Anyone found in violation of the closure order is subject to a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual, or $10,000 for an organization and even imprisonment for up to six months.
The closure order comes as the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department warned against visiting local mountains.
“If you planned on visiting our local mountains for fun this weekend, please reconsider your plans,” the Sheriff’s Department tweeted Monday morning.
The region has been slammed by heavy snow that wreaked havoc on local highways, stranding drivers for days.
Some residents could end up being stuck for another week, possibly two, Sheriff Shannon Dicus said during a news conference Friday.
The California National Guard is delivering food, fuel and supplies to snowed-in residents.