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Prescribed burns on hold in Cleveland National Forest with partial government shutdown underway

Posted at 2:21 PM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-10 20:40:59-05

(KGTV) -- Fire crews with the Cleveland National Forest are unable to conduct prescribed burns due to the ongoing government shutdown, authorities told 10News Thursday.

The news comes after President Trump threatened to withhold federal funds until California improves its forest management.

Firefighters are still positioned for emergency response should a wildfire erupt, said Stephen Fillmore, acting fire chief for the Cleveland National Forest. Filmore said burns are usually conducted from November through May, totaling two to three thousand acres.

Fillmore said the agency still has the ability to perform emergency-related activities in the event of a forest fire.

Though crews will still respond to wildfires, Fillmore said prescribed burns are very important to mitigate fire danger throughout the year.

Trails within the forest remain open despite the shutdown. However, certain facilities such as bathrooms within the area are closed.

Last year, the Holy Fire tore through the Cleveland National Forest, scorching more than 23,000 acres.