California’s national forests close to visitors as wildfires rage

California's national forests were closed to the public due to the ongoing wildfire crisis. The move will likely alter plans for many who used to camp, bike, or hike in the forests over the Labor Day weekend.
The state has been ravaged by unrelenting fires that have raged across the state, with the massive Caldor fire causing extensive damage and requiring the evacuation of thousands from South Lake Tahoe. The US Department of Agriculture Forest Services Pacific Southwest Region has ordered temporary forest service land closures to protect firefighters and the public.

California's Caldor Fire has caused severe damage and evacuations David Odisho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Officials have blocked access to 20,000,000 acres of California's national forests in order to stop visitors being trapped in an emergency. This will decrease the chance of new fires starting, and limit COVID-19 exposure for firefighters and the community. This order does not apply to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest which is not located in the Pacific Southwest Region. It also does NOT apply to state, national parks, or private lands.

California's Redwood Coast:

Officials claim that new fires pose a risk to property and lives due to the state-wide conditions. People who break closure orders can face up to $5000 in fines.

This decision is not taken lightly, but it is best for public safety, stated Jennifer Eberlien (regional forester), in a statement. This is especially difficult given the fact that so many people love our national forests, and it's close to Labor Day weekend.

These closures will continue to be in place until September 17, at 11.59pm. More information and updates can found here.

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