VALLEJO, Calif. — To better provide public and firefighter safety due to extreme fire conditions throughout northern California, and strained firefighting resources throughout the country, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing a temporary closure of nine National Forests. This closure will be effective at August 22, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. through September 6, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
“Fires are running very quickly due to the drought conditions, dry fuels, and winds. 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,” said Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien. “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 Forest
- Plumas National Forest
- Shasta-Trinity National Forest
- Six Rivers National Forest
- Tahoe National Forest
The following persons are exempt from this Order:
- Persons with Forest Service Permit No. FS-7700-48 (Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order), specifically exempting them from this Order
- Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the Performance of an official duty.
- Persons with a Forest Service non-special-use written authorization to conduct non-recreational activities, such as harvesting timber or forest products, or grazing livestock.
- Owners or lessees of land, to the extent necessary to access their land.
- Residents, to the extent necessary to access their residences.
- Persons engaged in a business, trade, or occupation are not exempt from the prohibitions listed above but may use National Forest System roads to the extent necessary to carry out their business, trade, or occupation.
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.
The Forest Service thanks our partners and the public for their cooperation and understanding of this extreme fire threat. Citizens with specific questions within their area should consult their local forest website or social media pages for more information.
About the Pacific Southwest Region:
The Forest Service manages 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, which encompasses over 20 million acres across California, and assists forest landowners in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. 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. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R5.