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Angeles National Forest Sends Non-Critical Staff Home For 2 Weeks Due To COVID Surge

Angeles National Forest
A sign at the entrance of Angeles National Forest near Palmdale.
(Tony Webster
Flickr Creative Commons)
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If you’re heading into the Angeles National Forest to enjoy what remains of the snow and our cool crisp weather, you’ll find fewer Forest Service employees than normal, starting Monday, Jan. 10.

The U.S. Forest Service says it is staffing the Angeles National Forest with as few employees as possible through Jan. 24. It’s meant to protect the federal workers from getting infected with coronavirus during this latest surge.

"We must use every tool and enhanced safety measure at our disposal to protect our employees," said Jerome Perez, forest supervisor of the Angeles National Forest, in a statement released Friday, "and right now unfortunately, that means closing access to our facilities for two weeks.”

What's Open And What's Not

Fire stations and critical jobs — like cleaning restrooms and garbage removal — will remain staffed. Public campgrounds, picnic areas and trails will stay open.

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But public access to Forest Service offices, visitor centers and fire stations will be restricted for the next two weeks.

If you do still plan to visit, forest officials urge you to follow COVID-19 protocols regarding masks and social distancing.

Forest officials said staff working remotely will still be answering these phone lines.:

Last year, Angeles National Forest was among more than a dozen forests closed across the state for a couple weeks in early September due to fire concerns.