Many California parks and highways closed, including Highway 1 and National Forests


The Bobcat Fire rages in the San Gabriel Mountains. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

State and local authorities announced the reopening of several parks on Sunday evening, but all of California’s national forests remained closed Monday morning, as well as a 30-mile stretch of Highway 1 south of Big Sur, as the firefighters were battling persistent fires amid some of the worst air quality in years.

In LA County, authorities on Friday closed eight parks, including Eaton Canyon Natural Area, Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area, Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park, Lario Staging Area, Marshall Regional Park and Nursery. Canyon, Peck Road Water Conservation Park, San Dimas Canyon Natural Zone, and Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area.

They remained closed on Monday. After that, spokeswoman Katie Martel said, park officials will decide the status of these parks day after day, primarily based on air quality.

“As things change we will continue to assess,” Martel said, suggesting residents check park statutes on the county parks Twitter site, @lacountyparks.

LA County will also decide day in and day out whether or not to open Splash Pads in 16 county parks. Splash Pads are small fountains that generally provide a play opportunity and heat relief for children in hot weather. The poor air quality resulted in the closure of the fountains.

Some 24 state parks in California remained closed on Monday, none of them in southern California, officials said in a statement. Mount San Jacinto State Park in Riverside County is partially closed, its wilderness areas closed to day and night hikes. As of Thursday, when the tally of closed state parks stood at 30, several parks have reopened in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties.

US Forest Service officials shut down the state’s 18 national forests on September 9, a sweeping move that closed access to more than 20 million acres due to “unprecedented and historic fire conditions.” . Campgrounds, trails, picnic areas and roads are closed to visitors until further notice, according to a press release from the US Forest Service.

“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 visitors to National Forests can safely recreate themselves,” said Regional Forester Randy Moore in the press release.

The biggest fire in Southern California, Bobcat fire in the Angeles National Forest, had reached 36,366 acres with a 6% containment Monday morning.

Authorities on Thursday asked visitors to stay away from Big Bear Lake, Big Bear City, Moonridge, Sugarloaf, Lake Williams, Baldwin Lake, Fawnskin and other communities in the area due to the fire in Eldorado. The blaze, which started on Saturday, had reached 14,478 acres by Monday morning.

Highway 38 leading to the hill station has been closed just east of Redlands.

A spokesperson for the US Forest Service said forestry officials would assess the risks at each site to decide when to lift the order.

Travelers planning a getaway to affected areas should check the condition of the fire as well as the condition of any places they plan to visit – local, state, and national parks and forests – before leaving their homes. . Verification motorway statutes with Caltrans is also recommended.

The Dolan Fire in Monterey County forced the closure of Highway 1 from Gorda 6.2 miles north of Slates Hot Springs, shutting down about 30 miles of the coastal route that Southern Californians take to Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey. (Due to this closure, northbound drivers also cannot reach the coast of Monterey County via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.)

The massive stream fire in the Sierra National Forest, which spans over 175,893 acres, has triggered warnings and evacuations across much of central California, including popular locations such as Shaver Lake and Huntington Lake.

Forest closure Mammoth Mountainbike park, gondola rides, guided climbing and other summer activities. However, the Sierra Star Golf Course and accommodations remain open at the Mammoth Lakes Resort.

Licensed hikers to Mount Whitney, John Muir Trail, and Pacific Crest Trail (where it passes through National Forest lands) have also had to cut back on their plans.

At 6 a.m. on Tuesday, officials shut down Sequoia National Park, citing the risk of fire at the castle, which is now part of the largest SQF complex fire.

Meanwhile, Yosemite National Park, less than 80 kilometers north of the still uncontrolled region Stream fire, remained open to visitors by prior reservation. Rangers closed the park’s Mariposa Grove on Sunday night as a precaution against the fires.

The southern part of the park is now the subject of a fire advisory – a possible prelude to the evacuation – and spokespersons are warning of poor air quality and poor visibility. The park’s Tioga road is closed from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Still, said park spokesperson Scott Gediman, “all park entrances and facilities remain open. Our best advice is for people to monitor the air quality and decide how they want to proceed.”

Writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben, tweeting a sepia view of Yosemite’s Half Dome, wrote: “California faces the biggest fire seat in recorded history.

Among the 24 sites in California State Park closing list out on Sunday evening:

• In Humboldt County, threatened by the Elkhorn fire: Benbow State Recreation Area, Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, Humboldt Redwoods State Park; John B. Dewitt Redwoods State Nature Reserve; Richardson Grove State Park; and Smithe Redwoods State Nature Reserve.

• In Mendocino County: Admiral William Standley State Recreation Area; Reynolds Wayside Campground; and the Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area.

• In Monterey County, threatened by the fire of Dolan: Andrew Molera State Park; Garrapata State Park (on the east side of Route 1); Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park; John Little State Nature Reserve; Limekiln State Park; Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park; Point Lobos State Nature Reserve; and Point Sur State Historic Park.

• In San Mateo County, threatened by fire at CZU August Lightning Complex: Butano State Park.

• In Santa Cruz County, also threatened by the fire at CZU August Lightning Complex: Big Basin Redwoods State Park (including Rancho del Oso and Little Basin).

• In Santa Clara County, threatened by fire at SCU Lightning Complex: Henry W. Coe State Park.

• In Sonoma County, also threatened by the fire at the LNU Lightning Complex: Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve; and Austin Creek State Recreation Area.

• In Butte County, threatened by fire in the western area of ​​the northern complex: Lake Oroville state recreation area; Clay Pit State Vehicle Recreation Area.

Besides Mount San Jacinto, the other three partially closed state parks are: Mono Lake Tufa State Nature Reserve in Mono County; South Yuba River State Park in Nevada County; and Millerton Lake State Recreation Area in Fresno County.

Also in Point Reyes National Waterfront, Limantour Road and many trails, beaches and campgrounds are closed due to the Woodward fire.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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