Due to unprecedented and historic fire conditions throughout the state, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing a temporary closure of an additional ten National Forests, meaning all eighteen National Forests in California are now closed. The closure of the additional ten forests will be effective at 5:00 pm today. These additional forests include the 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. This decision will be re-evaluated daily as conditions change.
We had closed eight National Forests on Monday evening, Sept. 7, 2020. Explosive growth of fires throughout California during the day and late evening of Sept. 8th led to this updated decision.
“The number of large fires and extreme fire behavior we are seeing across the State is historic,” said Regional Forester Randy Moore. “These temporary closures are necessary to protect the public and our firefighters, and we will keep them in place until conditions improve and we are confident that National Forest visitors can recreate safely. 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.”
The Forest Service thanks our partners and the public for their cooperation and understanding of this monumental fire threat. It is critical that all Californians and national forest visitors follow these important closures and restrictions for their own safety and the safety of our firefighters. Citizens with specific questions within their area may call their local forests for more information.
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.
The photo from the USDA Sequoia Facebook Page:
Freeman Creek Grove (4,192 acres) within the Sequoia National Forest, also known as Lloyd Meadow Grove, is the largest unlogged grove outside of a National Park. This grove is the easternmost grove of giant sequoias and is considered to be among the most recently established. The sequoias are mainly south of Freeman Creek with approximately 800 large trees (10 feet in diameter or more). There are several large sequoias to see in this grove. Foremost among these is the President George H.W. Bush Tree. President Bush delivered his presidential proclamation in 1992, setting aside giant sequoia groves on National Forest System lands for protection, preservation and restoration while standing beside a large giant sequoia at the bottom of the grove. Understanding the significance of the President George H.W. Bush Tree and the grove, firefighters took actions to protect these values at risk by wrapping the base of the tree and clearing duff away from others.