San Francisco, Aug 20 (IANS) More than 20 parks in the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California were forced to close down due to raging wildfires in the region, officials said.
The closures were ordered on Wednesday as nearly two dozen wildfires were burning in and around the Santa Cruz Mountains along the Pacific coast, prompting 22,000 people to evacuate their homes, Xinhua news agency.
“I think we’re experiencing hell,” the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper quoted Tamara Clark, chief public information officer at Santa Clara County Parks, as saying on Wednesday.
“We can’t seem to catch a break, and we won’t until the weather cools.”
At Lake Berryessa, the Bureau of Reclamation closed all recreation access, including day-use areas, campgrounds, boat launches and restrooms.
In the Santa Cruz Mountains, the ‘CZU August Lightning Complex Fire’ closed parks operated by California State Park, San Mateo County Parks and the Midpeninsula Open Space District.
As of Wednesday morning, Cal Fire reported zero containment of the blaze.
Rangers had to close access roads also to the Big Basin Redwoods State Park near Boulder Creek.
Air quality were at “unhealthy” levels in te region.
The San Jose State University cancelled all in-person and online classes for the day due to projected unhealthy air quality as wildfires sent smoke across the area, according to a report on San Francisco Chronicle.
According to California Governor Gavin Newsom, there were currently 6,754 fires across the state.