Californa Wildfires Threaten Hunting Seasons
It seems every year wildfires are growing increasingly worse, and this year is no exception. Wildfires have forced the USDA to close many of the national forests and/or units in northern California. With hunting seasons fast approaching, this will undoubtedly affect upcoming seasons, with bowhunters to be the first.
Wildfires and drought conditions growing worse in the western U.S is an obvious main cause for these closures as stated on the USDA website.
“Fires are running very quickly due to the drought conditions, dry fuels, and winds. This makes initial attack and containment very difficult and is even more challenging with strained resources who are battling more than 100 large fires across the country” said Reginal Forester Jennifer Eberlien. “We do not take this decision lightly and understand how this impacts people who enjoy recreating on the National Forests. These temporary closures are necessary to ensure public and firefighter safety, as well as reduce the potential for new fire starts.“
Where and How Long
As of now, the temporary closure is in effect from August 22nd, 2021 through September 6th, 2021. But unless we see conditions change we could see more closure and/or even an extension on current closures.
A list of the affected forests include:
- Klamath National Forest
- Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
- Lassen National Forest
- Mendocino National Forest
- Modoc National Forest
- Plumas National Forest
- Shasta-Trinity National Forest
- Six Rivers National Forest
- Tahoe National Forest
In addition to these closures, the Eldorado National Forest is currently closed until September 30th due to the Calder Fire according to the USDA.
These Drought conditions are not only increasing the size and occurrence of wildfires but are also affecting resources to sustain wildlife. We can only hope that years to come show less drought conditions, but judging by previous years this is clearly a common pattern.