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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

National forest closure will affect local roadways, popular events

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

Beginning at midnight Tuesday all national forests in California, including Angeles and San Bernardino, closed to the public in an effort to avoid igniting another fire and as a proactive measure to protect the public. The closure, which comes just days before the Labor Day holiday, will affect some local roadways, trails and popular events.

In an order signed on Monday by Jennifer Eberlien, regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region, entering into or being on a trail or roadway in the national forest could result in a $5,000 fine for an individual or $10,000 fine for an organization. The order takes place at 11:59 p.m. on August 31 and expires on September 17 at 11:59 p.m.

Local road closures include all of Glendora Ridge Road, Glendora Mountain Road from Big Dalton Canyon Road and San Dimas Canyon Road from Golden Hills Road.

“We do not take this decision lightly but this is the best choice for public safety,” Ms. Eberlien said. “It is especially hard with the approaching Labor Day weekend, when so many people enjoy our national forests.”

The massive Bobcat Fire started September 6, 2020 and burned 115,796 acres in and around the Angeles National Forest before being fully contained on December 18. National forest officials were concerned about the extreme dry conditions in the wildlands across the state as well as strained firefighting resources due to the current fires in the north portion of the state.

“Due to statewide conditions, any new fire starts have the potential for large and rapid fire growth with a high risk to life and property. The Forest Service and our partners are absolutely doing all we can to fight these fires and will continue to do so, but the conditions dictate the need for this regionwide closure order,” National Forest officials said in a statement.

The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park will be open according to the city’s website.

Earlier reports that Mount Baldy Road would be closed at Shinn Road have now been retracted according Graham Hendrickson, chief of the Mt. Baldy Fire Department. He was able to confirm with the Angeles National Forest officials that the road would be open at least to the town of Mount Baldy. There still could be a “soft closure” including road closure signs, beyond the village near the San Bernardino County line.

This is good news for the Mt. Baldy Fire Department because their 63rd annual Steak Fry “BBQ & Brews” is scheduled for September 11 at Pond Oaks at Mt. Baldy Trout Ponds. The event features a sit-down dinner, live music and craft beers. The event costs $30 for adults and $10 for children and runs from 4 to 9 p.m. However, they stop serving dinner at 8 p.m. To purchase tickets call (909) 982-1213 or visit www.mtbaldyfire.com/steak-fry.

“It’s still a go unless something else comes up,” Chief Hendrickson said.

The closure has forced two popular events to reschedule because they are held on national forest land. Mt. Baldy Run to the Top, slated for September 7 will be rescheduled for some time in October, according to the official website: https://run2top.wpengine.com/

Climb for Heroes, a benefit for The Heroes Project, scheduled for September 11, will now be held on November 13, according to the organization’s social media. For more info visit climbforheroes.org.

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