Ground Truth: In the News

All California National Forests closed due to fire risk

By Mary Forgione, Christopher Reynolds —

With California menaced by fires and shrouded in smoke, state and federal officials have now closed 30 state parks, Highway 1 south of Big Sur and all of the state’s national forests.

State parks officials posted most recent closures Thursday afternoon: eight parks (listed below) in Humboldt and Mendocino counties, where the Elkhorn Fire has blackened more than 255,000 acres.

U.S. Forest Service officials closed the state’s 18 national forests on Wednesday, a sweeping move that closed access to more than 20 million acres because of “unprecedented and historic fire conditions.” Campgrounds, trails, picnic areas and roads shut to visitors until further notice, according to a U.S. Forest Service news release.

“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,” regional forester Randy Moore said in the release.

The broader order comes after eight forests, including the nearby Angeles and San Bernardino forests, closed Monday. The Bobcat fire blazing through the Angeles forest near Azusa had grown to 11,456 acres with zero containment as of Wednesday afternoon.

Continue reading.