Officials for the Los Padres National Forest announced Wednesday that the emergency closure of all forests has been extended to September 22 due to large ongoing wildfires burning across the western United States.
Los Angeles, Cleveland, and San Bernardino national forests will also be extending the forest-wide closure to September 22.
Currently, there are 11 uncontained fires burning across National Forest lands statewide, with more than 15,000 personnel and 1,113 engines working to quell the flames, according to Andrew Madsen, public affairs officer for the Los Padres National Forest.
This closure is made not only to ease the strain on local fire personnel after weeks of nonstop work but also to decrease the chances of more fires breaking out and ensure visitors to the forests won’t become trapped should an emergency occur.
At a time of severe drought and hot, dry weather, firefighting sources are extremely limited, Madsen said, and it is likely that conditions in Southern California will worsen with no relief until late fall.