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Feb 17th
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Home National & State Parks Other NPs Reading Fire Continues Burning Into Lassen Volcanic National Park, Closing Roads, Campgrounds

Reading Fire Continues Burning Into Lassen Volcanic National Park, Closing Roads, Campgrounds

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With no immediate containment in sight, northern California's Reading Fire continues to burn inside Lassen Volcanic National Park, forcing the closure of roads, campgrounds and many trails to park visitors.

As of Sunday evening, Aug. 12, 2012, more than 19,150 acres had burned.

"The fire is moving to the east, so there is the possibility that more areas inside the park may be impacted," a National Park Service spokesperson told OldWestNewWest.com Travel & History Magazine.

lassen_harknessContainment of the fire will take at least a week, with officials looking at possibly Aug. 21 as the earliest date for full containment. As of Sunday, the fire was only 10 percent contained.

Additionally, rangers are cautioning people with health conditions to stay away due to heavy smoke particulates in the area.

"Both visitor centers are still open, and visitors are still coming into the park," the spokesperson said, "but it's very smoky."

The Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway continues to be closed for seven miles from Manzanita lake to Summit lake.

Visitors traveling from the southwest to the north can drive approximately 14 miles before they find the road closed just before Summit lake.

Visitors traveling from the northwest to the south will find the road closed at Chaos Jumbles just past Manzanita lake campground.

Butte Lake Road (via Highway 44) also is closed.

The fire has closed a number of campgrounds and trails, and currently there are no wilderness permits being issued.

Summit Lake, Butte Lake, Lost Creek and Crags Campgrounds are closed.

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), from Corral meadows to the north boundary, is closed, as well as Paradise Meadows, Terrace Lakes, Painted Dunes, Cinder Cone, Twin Lakes, Cluster Lakes, Butte Lake, and Widow Lake trails, as well as trails west of Snag Lake.

All U.S. Forest Service roads, trails, and the area south of Highway 44 and east of Highway 89 in the vicinity of the town of Old Station are closed.

To date, there have been no injuries from the fire, other than numerous bee stings. No buildings or vehicles has been damaged.

An interagency team of around 1,193 personnel from the National Park Service, the Forest Service, Cal Fire, the Bureau Indian Affairs, and local governments are battling the blaze.

The fire is burning in mixed conifer and red fir, with pine mat, manzanita and dead and down materials. Long-range spotting of up to a half a mile is plaguing firefighters, along with high-intensity burning of heavy timber fuels, and moderate rates of spread. Wind conditions remain light, and blowing from the southwest. Humidity is less than 20 percent.

The Forest Service rates the growth potential for the fire as "high."

The fire was started by a number of lightning strikes around 5 p.m. on July 23, and is located at 7100 feet in elevation approximately one mile northeast of Paradise Meadows between the Terrace Lake and Paradise Meadow Trails.

Closing a number of campgrounds because of the Reading Fire has affected the park's visitor numbers.

"August is one of our busiest months," the spokesperson said.

Because the situation remains uncertain, persons planning to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park should go to the park's Website for updates and conditions, the spokesperson said.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is located in northeastern California, approximately 50 miles from the town of Redding. There are five separate entrances to the park, and one Main Park Road which runs north-south through the park.

For information, visit the park's Website at
www.nps.gov/lavo/ .

National & State Parks