National forests in California set to reopen this week

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Some folks who headed for the hills this month found their favorite hiking and recreational areas were closed because they were located on US forest land.

China Peak resort was among the businesses impacted.

"The Labor Day weekend obviously was the biggest hit," says owner Tim Cohee. "That was all our mountain biking activities. All of our scenic rides. The marina and of course, our marina at China Peak landing relies heavily on the campgrounds."

Cohee says thousands of people would have visited if all the campgrounds were open. The resort has already closed for the summer.

National parks remained open during the forest closures.

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig was relieved to hear more businesses that have been struggling can once again tap into tourism dollars.

"Many of the businesses here in Fresno County were forced to shut down last year because of the Creek Fire and now this year, with other fires across the state, with them having to close again, it's really difficult on many businesses," he said.

Magsig worried the closure might be extended, but that is not the case.

He understood why the US Forest Service made the decision to halt public access to federal lands during a normally busy time -- at the height of fire season.

"There is a significant fire danger," he said. "A lot of the fires burning here in our region were started by lightning. But I also believe too that our natural resources in our backyard need to be enjoyed by individuals."

Magsig says four-wheel-drive clubs and hunters will be excited to know their future plans won't have to be altered.
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