(KTXL) — The U.S. Forest Service announced it will temporarily close all national forests within California, starting Tuesday.
All national forests in California will be closed, beginning Aug. 31 through Sept. 17 to limit the chances of new fires igniting as firefighters battle the largest fires in state history, the U.S. Forest Service said in a statement.
“We do not take this decision lightly but this is the best choice for public safety,” said Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien. “It is especially hard with the approaching Labor Day weekend, when so many people enjoy our national forests.”
The closure is intended to limit the number of people on public land in the event of an emergency, as well as limit the chances of a new fire starting, the Forest Service said. Any new fire has the potential to grow rapidly, potentially diverting already limited firefighting resources.
Read the full statement below, including a full list of decision factors and exemptions: