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Most Forests Reopening on September 16th, 2021 with Restrictions

Sonora, CA – At midnight on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, a day or two earlier than anticipated, most of the national forests in California, which have been closed for nearly a month due to dangerous fire conditions, will reopen. Five national forests will remain closed, most in the southern portion of the state.  The El Dorado National Forest will remain closed as firefighters continue to battle the Caldor fire.

The Stanislaus National Forest (STF) will be open with enhanced fire restrictions in place to reduce the risk of new wildland fires. While the forest will officially be open on the 16th, it may take a little time to get the recreation areas fully open and closures removed.  You may wish to contact the Calaveras Ranger District if you plan to visit to verify that they are open: https://www.fs.usda.gov/stanislaus/

Below are the enhanced fire restrictions intended to increase public and firefighter safety:

  • Wood and charcoal fires are prohibited anywhere on the forest including campgrounds, developed areas, and wilderness areas.
  • A portable stove or lantern using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel with a shut-off valve, is permissible only with a free California Campfire Permit, available online or in any Forest Service office.
  • Lawful hunting is permitted; however, no target shooting is allowed on the forest.
  • We encourage visitors to follow safety guidelines when visiting the Stanislaus National Forest.
  • Plan and prepare — know your route and tell a responsible adult where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles — pack out cigarette butts and burned materials from your camping area.
  • Beware of sudden changes in the weather or changing weather conditions. If you see a thunderstorm approaching, consider leaving the area. Fires started by lightning strikes are common.
  • Be careful of parking or driving your car or ATV in tall, dry, vegetation, such as grass.
  • The hot underside of the vehicle can start a fire.
  • Check frequently for dragging chains when towing trailers to avoid creating sparks that can cause a fire start.