Shutdown of California’s national forests reportedly extended statewide past Labor Day


Photo of Kellie Hwang

Firefighters deploy hose lines to defend cabins at Berkeley Echo Lake Camp from flames of the Caldor Fire, near South Lake Tahoe, Calif. on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.

Alvin A.H. Jornada / Special to The Chronicle

With wildfires creating dangerous conditions and taxing firefighting crews across California, the U.S. Forest Service reportedly is expanding its closure of national forestlands throughout the state and extending the shutdown past Labor Day.

In an announcement Monday, California regional forester Jennifer Eberlien said all 20 million acres of the state’s national forests will be shut to the public through at least Sept. 17, the Sacramento Bee reported. Eberlien delivered the message in a notice to employees obtained by The Bee.

In the letter, Eberlien reportedly said the “difficult decision” was made to ensure the safety of both firefighters and the public in the midst of extreme wildfire behavior. The Bee said the closure begins at noon Tuesday and prohibits entering Forest Service lands for any activity, including hiking, biking and camping. Anyone caught within national forest boundaries could be fined up to $5,000.

The Forest Service had already issued an emergency closure of its nine national forests in the Northern California region that began on Aug. 22 and was set to last through Sept. 6.

Kellie Hwang is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @KellieHwang