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Jeff Sims

Jeff Sims, director of state relations and program advocacy for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), who spent the last few weeks traveling in California, said that he hasn’t heard of any private parks impacted by flames from the numerous wildfires spread throughout the state, but that smoke has definitely impacted park owners.

“It was a rare occasion that I could see an actual clear sky while I was there,” he noted to Woodall’s Campground Management.

Racking up over 2,000 miles of driving time, Sims was originally in the state for the National Conference of State Legislators and then traveled the state to meet with members and do a membership recruitment drive.

According to Cal Fire, there are multiple wildfires burning throughout the state. The Mendocino Complex fire, the largest in the state’s history, is currently centered around Mendocino County, has burned more than 361,000 acres and is 67% contained.

The Carr Fire in Shasta and Trinity Counties is 93% contained and has burned more than 229,000 acres. While the Ferguson Fire, which shut down parts of Yellowstone Valley, is now 100% contained and burned more than 96,000 acres.

These fires, along with other fires, have been keeping thousands of firefighters busy throughout the state as dry, warm weather continues to fuel the blazes.

Sims said he was never in any danger during his trip around the state, but that smoke was prevalent.

“I have seen worse, but I would be driving and it would be more like a fog and you could barely make out the peaks of mountains until you got pretty close to them,” he explained. “There was just a constant haze.”

Sims noted that some parks in impacted areas had cancellations, but also that a “strong majority” of the parks were having a better year.

“The perception out there exists that the whole state of California is under siege, and they certainly have a daunting task ahead of them. No doubt about it,” he explained. “But plenty have had a pretty good season and of course for a lot of them this is their off season. When I was out in the desert area, this is not their peak time. Their peak time starts later in the fall and runs through the winter and early spring.”