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Climate and Environment

US Forest Service Warns SoCal May Be Next To See Major Wildfires

Burning orange skies with abandoned ski lift in the forefront.
Flames surround a chair lift at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, a skiing area, during the Caldor fire in Twin Bridges, California on August 30, 2021.
(Josh Delson
AFP via Getty Images)
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The U.S. Forest Service is reporting some progress in slowing the growth of a few major wildfires in California — including the Caldor fire in the South Lake Tahoe area and the Walkers and French fires in Southern California.

So far, Southern California hasn't had a severe fire season this summer, which officials credit to monsoon moisture coming in from Arizona and New Mexico.

Here comes the bad news: Expect that to change soon.

"Southern California has average-to-large fire potential going into September and October," said Tony Scardina, Deputy Regional Forester with the United States Forest Service. "We'll start to see both parts of the state have fire activity as we get into the [first] couple of weeks in September."

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Forest Service officials will evaluate whether to reopen the California's national forests — 18 of them are currently closed — after September 17, the current end date given in an order issued Monday.

Another national forest in the state, Eldorado, closed to visitors in mid-August due to the Caldor Fire. It will remain closed until Sep. 30.

A decision to reopen the more than 20-million acres of forest closed to the public will be based on weather conditions, available resources, and the status of any fires burning at that time.

What questions do you have about the fires burning in Southern California?

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