FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Angeles National Forest Closure Lifted
Fire Restrictions Remain in Effect
ARCADIA, CA: October 19, 2004
With recent rain showers, Extreme fire conditions have subsided in the San Gabriel Mountains. As a result, Angeles National Forest will reopen Wednesday morning at 6:00am. However, restrictions on campfires, campstoves and smoking remain in effect, as vegetation moisture levels remain very low.
About 90% of the Forest has been closed since September 27, due to Extreme fire danger. Vegetation moisture levels have been at critically low levels for several weeks. Santa Ana winds caused a “Red Flag” fire warning in late September and again last week.
Since Saturday, the Angeles has received rain showers which brought between ¼ inch and 2 inches of rain to most parts of the 680,000 acre Forest. Thirteen weather stations throughout the Forest have received an average of 1.4 inches of rain. Heavy rain and continued cool temperatures are forecast through Friday, with snow in the high country.
Despite the wet conditions, another closure is possible if vegetation dries out and temperatures go back up. “There’s still a fair amount of risk this season,” said Angeles National Forest Fire Chief Don Feser. “Things are looking better, but mountain weather can turn on a dime. Santa Ana winds are possible for several more months.”
During the wildfires last fall, Angeles National Forest was closed for 11 days. It reopened on November 7, 2003, following significant rainfall. This past July, three fires burned 34,000 acres over a two-week period in and around the Angeles in the Santa Clarita area.
Several areas that were closed prior to the fire closure will remain closed, such as Chantry Flat Road (construction), the Crystal Lake area (fire damage), and two areas containing endangered species habitat.
For more information on the status of specific recreation sites, please contact the corresponding District Office listed below or visit the Forest website at www.fs.fed.us/r5/angeles