The U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday that the Los Padres National Forest, which has been shut down for 17 days, would remain closed to visitors for an undetermined period.

“This decision will be evaluated daily, taking fire and weather conditions into account,” said Jonathan Groveman, a spokesman for the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region.

Eight other national forests also will remain closed, including the Angeles, Cleveland, Inyo, Klamath, San Bernardino, Sequoia, Sierra and Six Rivers national forests.

Los Padres and the other national forests have been closed since Sept. 7.

Nine other national forests may be open to varying degrees: Eldorado, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta-Trinity, Stanislaus and Tahoe, along with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

“Continued closures are based on extreme fire conditions, critical limitations of firefighting resources, and to provide for firefighter and public safety,” said Randy Moore, regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region. “We understand how important access to the national forests is to our visitors. Our aim is to prevent any new fires on the landscape.”

The local closure includes the popular frontcountry trails in addition to backcountry areas.

For people planning to visit a national forest that is open to visitors, the Forest Service continues to recommend that they not travel long distances to recreate.

“If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time,” Groveman said. “All visitors should practice self-sufficiency during your visits to national forests. Recreating responsibly will help ensure that expanded access to recreational facilities, services and opportunities continues.”

He added that responsible recreation practices should be maintained at all times, including:

» Keep at least 6 feet of distance from others.

» Do not gather in groups, and follow the latest guidance from officials.

» Communicate with others as you pass. Alert trail users of your presence, and step aside to let others pass.

» Pack out your trash, and leave with everything you bring in and use.

» All services may not be available, so plan accordingly.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at