National Forest Service closes forests throughout state, including Inyo

By: 
Register Staff
Staff Writer

On Monday the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region announced the following temporary closures and fire restrictions to provide for public safety and reduce the potential for human caused fire starts.

Closures and restrictions went into effect at 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 7, and will be re-evaluated daily as conditions change.

Closure of the following National Forests: Stanislaus National Forest, Sierra National Forest, Sequoia National Forest, Inyo National Forest, Los Padres National Forest, Angeles National Forest, San Bernardino National Forest, and Cleveland National Forest. Prohibition of the use of any ignition source on all National Forest System lands (campfires, gas stoves, etc.) throughout California. Closure of all developed campgrounds and day-use sites on national forests in California.

“The wildfire situation throughout California is dangerous and must be taken seriously. Existing fires are displaying extreme fire behavior, new fire starts are likely, weather conditions are worsening, and we simply do not have enough resources to fully fight and contain every fire,” said Randy Moore, Regional Forester for the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region. “We are bringing every resource to bear nationally and internationally to fight these fires, but until conditions improve, and we are confident that National Forest visitors can recreate safely, the priority is always to protect the public and our firefighters. With these extreme conditions, these temporary actions will help us do both.”

For the town of Mammoth Lakes, the temporary forest closure includes the highly visited areas in the Lakes Basin and developed campgrounds and Reds Meadow/Devils Postpile and the associated developed campgrounds.

The USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region will re-evaluate conditions daily.

The National Weather Service in Reno (www.weather.gov/rev) has issued a Red Flag Warning through 8 p.m. today, Sept. 8, for gusty winds and low humidity for the Eastern Sierra.

A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert issued in advance of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity. The Town and County urges all residents and visitors to use extreme caution as a simple spark could cause a major wildfire. Avoid outdoor activities that can cause a spark near dry vegetation, such as yard work or campfires.

An example of extreme fire behavior is the Creek Fire on the Sierra National Forest which began on Friday Sep. 4th and grew rapidly on Saturday, Sep. 5th. The fire made a 15-mile run in a single day and burned 36,000 acres, prompting evacuations and life saving measures. The California National Guard evacuated at least 200 people from Wagner Mammoth Pool Campground and assessed them for medical needs.

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