SPARKS, Nev. (KLAS) — Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is temporarily closing all California forest lands to the public as wildfires rage across the state.
The closure goes into effect at 8 a.m. Sept. 10 and includes the following areas on the California side of the Carson and Bridgeport Ranger Districts:
- Backcountry areas
- Wilderness areas
- Campgrounds (developed and dispersed)
- Day use areas
The US Forest Service says recreational activities will be prohibited, including:
- Operating off-highway vehicles
Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger explained the reasoning behind the closure, saying, “Although the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is in the USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region, with this unprecedented fire situation we are aligning with the Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region’s closures for all National Forest System (NFS) lands in the state of California. The Pacific Southwest Region made this decision as a result of several explosive fires across the state and the historic fire danger, which has stretched fire responders to the limit.”
One of those fires is the Slink Fire, which has burned 22,474 acres of the Carson and Bridgeport districts. It was caused by lightning.
The forest service says a combination of significant wind, extreme heat and dry vegetation may lead to any new fires to “exhibit extreme behavior,” which could lead to dangerous evacuations.
The closure will last through Sept. 14, when the forest service will re-evaluate, or as conditions change. USFS says violators could face a maximum fine of $5,000 and/or six months in jail.
The Nevada side of Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is currently under a Stage 2 fire restriction, meaning no campfires are allowed anywhere in the forest. If someone is found guilty of starting a fire, they can be held liable civilly and criminally.