A weeks-long closure of the Angeles National Forest prompted by concerns over fire risk will expire Wednesday night, authorities said.
The forest, along with several other Southern California national forests, will reopen for visitors at 11:59 p.m., according to the U.S. Forest Service.
At the same time, officials plan to lower the forest’s fire danger level from ‘Critical,” which is the most severe risk level, to “Extreme,” the USFS said in a written statement.
Under the “Extreme” risk level, all use of open flames and certain spark-emitting equipment is banned.
Several factors went into the decision to reopen the forest, according to Angeles National Forest Deputy Forest Supervisor Robert Heiar.
“Although we remain in ‘Extreme’ fire danger conditions, the national and regional improvement will help to provide the needed firefighting resources to Southern California,” he said. “As the forest remains in ‘Extreme’ fire danger conditions it is important to remember that full fire restrictions remain in place.”
A portion of the forest remains off-limits in the burn area of the Bobcat Fire in 2020, officials added. The affected area includes the Chantry Flat Picnic Area and Buckhorn Campground.
“We recognize the important role of the forest in our visitor’s lives and the Angeles National Forest thanks our partners and the public for their cooperation and understanding,” according to the statement. “The Angeles National Forest continues to monitor conditions on the forest for public and firefighter safety as there continues to be a potential for high-intensity fires and large fire growth.”
More information is available on the Angeles National Forest website at fs.usda.gov/angeles.