In an effort to protect the public and the heroic firefighters who are currently fighting off some of the most extreme fires in Colorado's history, managers of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests have opted to temporarily close all national forest land in five Colorado counties.

The five counties impacted include Larimer, Boulder, Clear Creek, Jefferson, and Gilpin. These counties are currently experiencing severe drought conditions, low fuel moisture, and high occurrences of man-made fires, according to the U.S Forest Service.

The closures are effective as of midnight Wednesday (Oct. 21).

The Rocky Mountain Coordination Center said that nearly 442,000 acres are currently being affected by wildfires across north-central Colorado and southern Wyoming.

"The number of large fires and extreme fire behavior we are seeing on our Forests this year is historic," Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest Supervisor Monte Williams said in a statement told to CPR News. "These temporary closures are necessary to protect the public and our firefighters, and we will keep them in place until conditions improve and we are confident that the risk of new fire starts has decreased."

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