Dozens of state parks across California are closed as multiple wildfires across the state continue to rage. All campgrounds in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, just south of San Francisco, have also been temporarily closed.
The California State Parks Service released a list of 34 parks that have been fully closed or partially closed, “due to the ongoing wildfires burning across much of the state.” The closures are in effect through at least Aug. 31 and the list of parks could expand with wildfire conditions.
Those with reservations that are now canceled will be contacted.
The public is advised to avoid the parks on the list and to cancel any upcoming trips to areas affected by the wildfires, particularly in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties as hotel rooms are needed to house evacuees, The Los Angeles Times reported.
As of Tuesday morning, Cal Fire is battling 15 active wildfires across the state. Thousands of acres of land have been charred by dozens of wildfires over the past week. The fires have been particularly difficult to contain and extinguish as the state battles extreme heat.
Last week wildfires crept into Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the oldest state park in California, home to some trees that are over 2,000 years old and considered to be among the tallest living things on the planet. It was feared that the trees would succumb to the blazes as the park’s headquarters, small buildings, and infrastructures went up in flames. Although some of the trees were burned or fell, the forest is not gone.
“It will regrow,” Laura McLendon, conservation director for the Sempervirens Fund, a redwood environmental group, told The Associated Press. “Every old growth redwood I’ve ever seen, in Big Basin and other parks, has fire scars on them. They’ve been through multiple fires, possibly worse than this.”
The park had recently reopened after a COVID-19 shutdown but is once again closed to reset after the wildfire.