Forest Extends Recreation Site Closure Order Again Due To COVID-19 Crisis
Sonora, CA – The Stanislaus National Forest has once again extended its recreation site closure order — this time until mid-June — while also enacting campfire restrictions.
The current order is set to expire tomorrow (Sunday, May 31). The Forest Service asks that visitors be patient during this transition period as they are working with county and local partners to reopen developed recreation sites for full access as soon as possible. Additionally, they urge that whenever possible, recreate locally. This latest extension will last through June 15th.
Trails, trailheads, and general forest areas currently open for public use are not impacted by the order. The forest provided the below information for visitors to be aware of:
- No trash removal is currently offered – please pack out all trash and waste
- Most toilet facilities are currently closed – please plan accordingly
- Avoid high-risk activities – law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited
- If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location
With an above-normal fire season projected for much of California and the combined potential for wildfires and smoke to impact communities and firefighters, the forest has enacted campfire restrictions. Igniting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire is prohibited except at open developed recreation sites and certain permitted facilities. Forest visitors may use stoves, grills, or lanterns with shut-off valves, in an area at least five feet from any flammable materials.
“Our priority is to protect the health and well-being of our first responders and the public. We can do that by taking additional precautions now to prevent wildfire ignitions on the forest,” said Jason Kuiken, Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor. “Responding to wildfires can compromise our firefighters’ abilities to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19. I want residents and visitors to remember that we depend on you to help prevent wildfires as much as you depend on us to fight fire, especially in light of the current conditions.”
The campfire restrictions will remain in place until further notice.