CALIFORNIA—On August 20, in response to the SCU Lightning Complex fire raging across Northern California, park districts and watershed managers shut down Mount Diablo State Park, the Los Vaqueros Watershed, and 66 other East Bay Parks. These parks join Lake Berrysessa, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and 20 other state parks closed earlier this week due to nearby fire activity or dangerous conditions.
The most closures came in the East Bay Regional Park District where 66 of the 73 public parks were shut down. According to the East Bay Regional Park District’s news release, there are currently an unprecedented number of wildfires in the parks. Some of the parks affected are Round Valley Regional Preserve, Del Valle Regional Park, and Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. While other recreation areas may not be directly affected, they are closed due to imminent threat of fire danger.
So far, the SCU Lightning Complex fires have burned 137 acres and are only 5 percent contained. With so little containment, experts warn that extreme heat and poor air quality will likely continue throughout this week.
While parks located closer to the shorelines of San Francisco and San Pablo Bay like Crown Beach State Park and Point Isabel Regional Shoreline remain open, park officials are advising people to stay away due to poor air quality.
“For your health and safety, avoid visiting Regional Parks at this time,” read an alert posted by East Bay Regional Park District.