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Some National Forests Reopen In California, But Not The One In San Diego

Hot dry conditions are raising the risk of wildfire in the San Diego's Cleveland National Forest on Aug. 31, 2021
Erik Anderson
Hot dry conditions are raising the risk of wildfire in the San Diego's Cleveland National Forest on Aug. 31, 2021

The National Forest Service has extended the closure of the Cleveland National Forest for at least another week.

The federal agency took the extraordinary step to close all national forests in California at the end of August.

RELATED: All National Forests In California Are Closed

Some National Forests Reopen In California, But Not The One In San Diego
Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

The closure was slated to last until Friday, but the Cleveland National Forest and four others will stay off limits to the public for at least another week.

Officials were worried about having to evacuate thousands of visitors if a wildfire emergency broke out.

Dry conditions in the forests make this an extremely dangerous situation for wildfires. The chances go up if there are a lot of people hiking, camping, or even spending time in the forests.

“We are constantly evaluating weather and fire conditions in California, as well as regional and national firefighting resources available to us so that we can ensure the safety of the public and our firefighters,” said Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien. “Some factors are more favorable now, which is why I decided to end the regional closure order. I want to thank the public and our partners for their patience and understanding during these challenging times.”

Five national forests will remain closed until Sept. 22. That includes the Cleveland National Forest in San Diego County. It also includes the Padres National Forest, Angeles National Forest, San Bernardino National Forests in Southern California and the El Dorado National Forest in Northern California

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More than 7,400 wildfires have blackened 2.25 million acres around the state this year.

There are currently 10,500 firefighters battling 14 major fires around the state.

Calfire officials say some of the year’s most damaging wildfires happen during Santa Ana conditions that typically hit in the fall.

Fire officials are urging the public to keep their guard up.