The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region has extended its recently enacted closure orders and fire restrictions through Sept. 21.

Last week, Regional Order 20-07 and Regional Order 20-10 effectively closed down all 18 national forests in the state, while Regional Order 20-06 prohibited “building, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire” and smoking on all National Forest System lands.

On Monday, the day before these orders were set to expire, the forest service enacted additional orders which extend the closures and fire restrictions through Sept. 21.

Until that date, the public is prohibited from being in all of California’s National Forest System lands, including developed campgrounds, dispersed camping areas, day-use areas, wilderness areas, trails and roads.

Violation of any of the regional orders is “punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.”

In a message explaining the closure orders and fire restrictions, Regional Forester of the Pacific Southwest Region Randy Moore cited “an unprecedented and dire fire season,” “extremely dry conditions,” “significant shortages of resources,” and “record numbers of visitors” to the national forests, which “further exacerbate(s) a challenging fire situation creating a heightened level of risk.”

The closure orders and fire restrictions may be extended once again, and will be “re-evaluated daily as conditions change,” according to a statement on the Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region’s website.

To view the regional orders, visit fs.usda.gov/main/r5/alert-notices and scroll to the bottom of the page.

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Reporter

Noah Berner has lived in Calaveras County most of his life, and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in history.

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