Park Closure

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HEMET (CNS) – A park on the south edge of Hemet will be closed to public access for the duration of wildfire season to minimize brush fire risks, city officials said today.

Fire Chief Scott Brown said Simpson Park, just east of Diamond Valley Lake, will be closed Monday and will not re-open until fire threats are minimal. “The Fire Department remains committed to keeping the community safe from the threat of wildfire”, Brown said.

The chief said his closure move dovetails with Riverside County Fire Chief Shawn Newman’s decision to declare seven recreational locations off limits to hikers, off-roading enthusiasts and others starting Monday and continuing until wildfire season ends, which is generally November.

Newman received authorization from the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to close the grounds, which has occurred yearly since 2007. The following locations fall under the county’s closure order:

— Avery Canyon, along Gibbel Road, east of State Street in southeast Hemet;
— Indian Canyon and North Mountain in San Jacinto;
— Minto Way in Sage, north of Aguanga;
— Nuevo, east of Menifee Road and San Jacinto Avenue;
— Ramona Bowl and Bautista Canyon, southeast of Hemet;
— Reinhardt Canyon, north of state Route 74 and California Avenue in Hemet;
— Whitewater Canyon, near Cabazon.

The Ramona Bowl is just over a mile north of Simpson Park. Each spot is surrounded by rugged, inhospitable terrain. Closure signs will be posted at entry points to warn potential violators of fines and other penalties.

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