Though a forest fire covering nearly 30,000 acres is burning in parts of Lassen Volcanic National Park in California, many areas of the park remain open to the public.
"The smoke conditions of the park change on a daily basis, with several areas experiencing clear skies and cooler temperatures," said Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz in a press release. "I encourage visitors to call our visitor center to check on smoke conditions prior to visiting the park."
The "Reading" fire was sparked by lightning on July 23. It involves both National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service lands, and covered a combined 27,849 acres, officials reported Sunday afternoon. Nearly 750 personnel are battling the fire, which so far has cost more than $12.2 million to fight, according to the government's Incident Command System.
Officials say visitors wanting to access Lassen Volcanic Park from the north, "can drive the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway from the north entrance to Manzanita Lake. Visitors wanting to access the park from the south entrance, the road is open to Summit Lake. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead for current information."
"... From the Southwest entrance, visitors can access the Bumpass Hell trail, Kings Creek Falls trail, Mill Creek Falls, and Brokeoff Mountain trail among others. Warner Valley offers visitors an opportunity to hike several trails, including the trails to Devils Kitchen and Boiling Springs Lake, two of the park's hydrothermal areas. The Lassen Peak trail will be open to the summit Friday August 31 through Monday September 3. ... The trails around Manzanita Lake, Lily Pond, Crags Lake and Manzanita Creek are open in the northwest part of the park."
Camping is available at Manzanita Lake, Warner Valley, Juniper Lake and the Southwest (walk-in) campground. Visitor services include the Loomis Museum, Manzanita Lake Camper Store, Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, the Lassen Café & Gifts (located at the visitor center) and Drakesbad Historic Guest Ranch in Warner Valley.
Ranger-led programs offer visitors a wide variety of topics on the natural and cultural history of the park seven days a week through Labor Day weekend. There are programs for visitors of all ages.
Check the park's website for updates on the fire and facilities and trails.