National Forest officials extended the overnight camping ban on developed campgrounds at California’s Sequoia National Forest because of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, according to the Kern Valley Sun.
The extension will be in effect at least until Sunday, Jan. 31, “for the health and welfare of our forest visitors and staff,” Sequoia National Forest Supervisor Teresa Benson said in a release about the order.
Day visits to the developed recreation sites, such as Riverkern Beach Picnic Area, are allowed.
“This order will protect visitors and our employees by reducing exposure to COVID-19 and mitigating the further burden on limited health-care facilities,” Regional Forester of the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region Randy Moore said in a statement.
The Jan. 6 order requires visitors to leave the forest at sundown.
The mandate prohibits visitors from even “entering or using” undeveloped campgrounds such as Old Isabella Road and Aunt Canyon.
Violations can result in $5,000 fines for individuals, $10,000 for an organization and up to six months in prison.