State Watch

Raging wildfires close California’s 18 national forests

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All 18 national forests in California will shut down due to the wildfires blazing across the state, the U.S. Forest Service said Wednesday. 

Ten national forests will be shut by 5 p.m. Wednesday, adding to the eight others that had already been closed earlier this week, according to the announcement. 

Regional forester Randy Moore said the temporary closures are necessary in order to protect the safety of the public and firefighters. Moore said the forests will remain closed until “conditions improve and we are confident that National Forest visitors can recreate safely,” without detailing a timeline. 

“The number of large fires and extreme behavior we are seeing across the State is historic,” Moore said in the announcement

“I ask all Californians and visitors to take these closures and evacuations seriously for their own safety and to allow our firefighters to focus on the mission of safely suppressing these fires,” Moore added. 

The 10 closures that will go into effect Wednesday are at the following forests: Eldorado National Forest, Klamath National Forest, Lassen National Forest, Mendocino National Forest, Modoc National Forest, Six Rivers National Forest, Plumas National Forest, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Tahoe National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. 

The decision to shut the 18 forests, which in total encompass over 20 million acres across California, will be reevaluated daily as conditions change, according to the announcement. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Sunday declared a state of emergency for five counties due to dangers posed by three wildfires burning in the state. The fires have burned tens of thousands of acres and forced thousands to evacuate.

Tags California California wildfire California wildfires Gavin Newsom National Forests

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