Families who considered spending part of the Labor Day weekend in a national forest might want to go to the beach instead because the forest will be closed.
All 17 of California’s national forests, including Angeles National Forest, are closed through Sept. 17 to better provide public and firefighter safety due to the ongoing wildfire crisis, the National Forest Service announced.
More than 6,900 fires have burned more than 1.9 million since Jan. 14.
“We do not take this decision lightly but this is the best choice for public safety,” Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien of the Pacific Southwest Region said in a statement. “It is especially hard with the approaching Labor Day weekend, when so many people enjoy our national forests.”
In response to the regional closure of all national forests in the state, Angeles National Forest and its cooperators placed road closures at the following locations:
• California State Route 2 at Clear Creek.
• California State Route 2 at Big Pines.
• California State Route 39 near Gateway Center.
• Golden State Highway at Interstate 5.
• Old Ridge Route at California State Route 138.
• Upper Big Tujunga at California State Route 2 and at Angeles Forest Highway.
• Glendora Mt. Road and Glendora Ridge Road.
• San Dimas Canyon Road.
Forest officials hope that by temporarily reducing the numbers of people in national forests, they can minimize the likelihood that visitors could become entrapped on National Forest System lands emergency circumstances. In addition, the closure will also decrease the potential for new fire starts at a time of extremely limited firefighting resources.
It will also enhance firefighter and community safety by limiting exposure that occurs in public evacuation situations, especially as COVID-19 continues to impact human health and strain hospital resources, the Forest Service said.
“Due to state-wide conditions, any new fire starts have the potential for large and rapid fire growth with a high risk to life and property,” forest officials said in their announcement. “The forest service and our partners are absolutely doing all we can to fight these fires and will continue to do so, but the conditions dictate the need for this region-wide closure order.”