With a heat wave scorching California and wildfires taking a “terrible toll,” the Angeles National Forest and six other forests in the state will remain closed another week, officials said Wednesday.

“This safety measure reflects the unprecedented and highly dangerous fire conditions within the region,” Angeles National Forest officials said. “This is a combination of extreme heat, dry conditions, significant wind events, and firefighting resources that are stretched to the limit.”

Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres, Inyo, San Bernardino, Sequoia and Sierra national forests will all stay closed through at least Oct. 8. Forest Service officials said the closures will be reviewed daily, taking fire and weather conditions into account.

The persistent heat wave has already brought record-setting temperatures to the Southland and is expected to continue this week.

The are large fires raging in 13 of 18 national forests in the pacific southwest region of California.

The season’s extreme fire conditions have led to four major wildfires and numerous smaller ones in the Angeles National Forest alone— including the Bobcat Fire, which has ripped through 114,202 acres, destroyed homes and continues to burn with 62% containment.

“In a typical fire season, California will see some 300,000 acres burn. This year, more than 3 million acres have already burned statewide,” forest officials said.

The emergency closure prohibits people from going into U.S. National Forest lands, including roads and trails.

“This closure will protect natural resources provide safety for forest visitors by preventing them from getting trapped on National Forest System lands during emergency circumstances,” Angeles National Forest officials said.

The fire danger in the Angeles National Forest remains “extreme” and is considered a risk to public safety.

“We understand how important access to national forests is to our visitors,” USDA Regional Forester Randy Moore said in a statement.  “As we evaluate fire and weather conditions on a daily basis, we will continue to make adjustments to ensure safe visitation. Our aim continues to prevent any new fires on the landscape.”

Eleven other U.S. National Forests may be open to varying degrees, officials said.

Visitors hoping to visit the Eldorado, Klamath, Lake Tahoe Basin, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta-Trinity, Six Rivers, Stanislaus and Tahoe national forests should contact local forests’ management for more information on their status.


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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