CALIFORNIA, USA — 2:30 p.m. update:
The USDA Forest Service announced that the eight national forests and all campgrounds will be closed for at least a week due to the dangerous fire conditions.
Forest Service officials say they will reevaluate daily, but due to the high winds over the next couple of days, reopening is unlikely until it is over.
"The forests are unsafe right now and we need people to heed that," said Steve Lohr, USDA Forest Service official.
The Forest Service has also limited or closed backcountry camping in addition to the previous camping restrictions in Eldorado National Forest, Lassen National Forest, Tahoe National Forest and Plumas National Forest.
People will also be ticketed and fined if they are caught in the national forests where closures are in place.
Eight national forests and all developed campgrounds are closing down completely in national forests across California on Monday due to dangerous fire conditions.
The USDA National Forest Service said that campgrounds are closing at 5 p.m. citing public safety and reduction in "potential for human caused fire starts" as the rationale for the closures, according to a press release.
"We want to be clear that this is not an evacuation order," said Jonathan Groveman, Media Relations Officer for the Forest Service.
Reservations for Monday afternoon into Tuesday will be canceled and refunded. Those in the campgrounds will be asked to leave and not camp tonight.
"Until conditions improve and we are confident that National Forest visitors can recreate safely, the priority is always to protect the public and our firefighters. With these extreme conditions, these temporary actions will help us do both," said Randy Moore, Regional Forester with the Forest Service.
These California national forests are closed at 5 p.m. on Monday:
- Stanislaus National Forest
- Sierra National Forest
- Sequoia National Forest
- Inyo National Forest
- Los Padres National Forest
- Angeles National Forest
- San Bernardino National Forest
- Cleveland National Forest
All developed campgrounds and day-use sites are closed in all California national forests. For the forests that are open, gas stoves, campfires and other items that need to be ignited are prohibited.
Reservations for Tuesday night are not canceled as of right now, but the Forest Service will be giving updates as more information becomes available.
Groveman says to call the campgrounds and check in with the national forests on social media for information.