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Wildfires Force Temporary Closures of Southern, Sierra Nevada National Forests



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The U.S. Forest Service announced Monday afternoon that it is temporarily closing the Southern and Sierra Nevada National Forests in California because of the rapidly expanding wildfires.

The temporary closures became effective at 5 p.m. Monday.

Randy Moore, the regional forester, said in a social media video that the closures were due to the significant winds, extreme heat, and dry vegetation confronting firefighters battling blazes throughout the state.

He said the closures were necessary for public and firefighter safety.

“I’m aware that these decisions will cause inconveniences to some,” Moore said. “But in the name of safety, which is a core value of the U.S. Forest Service, I really feel that this is the right decision for the right reason at the right time. I want to thank you for your continuing support in these challenging times.”

Firefighters Face ‘Unprecedented, Dangerous Conditions’

Moore described the conditions as “unprecedented” and “dangerous.”

Said Moore: “Our firefighting resources are stretched to the limit.”

The national forests under temporary closure: Sierra, Sequoia, Stanislaus, Inyo, Los Padres, Angeles, San Bernardino, and Cleveland.

In addition, the use of all ignition sources is prohibited in all national forests in California.

All Developed Campgrounds, Day-Use Sites Closed

Moore also said that the Forest Service was closing all developed campground and day-use sites in the state.

“These decisions will be reevaluated daily as conditions change,” Moore said.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email