The Angeles National Forest announced Thursday it will temporarily close weekend access to the Chantry Flat recreation area starting Saturday due to heightened public safety concerns brought about by increased numbers of visitors.

Recreation areas across the Angeles National Forest have been experiencing exceptionally high numbers of visitors, according to forest representative John Clearwater.

In the Chantry Flat recreation area, visitor vehicles continue to exceed available parking, and vehicle congestion and illegal parking on the narrow mountain roads have resulted in constricted roadways that block access to emergency crews, Clearwater said.

“With the arrival of hot, dry conditions, it is imperative that fire crews and emergency vehicles have adequate access for public safety,” Clearwater said in a statement.

The temporary closure of Chantry Flat is currently limited to weekends only — Saturdays and Sundays. Weekday access, Monday through Friday, will remain open, Clearwater said.

The Angeles National Forest is working with state and local partners to find solutions to the recent overcrowding and increasingly heavy traffic volume on mountain roadways. Until then, it is necessary to temporarily close weekend access for public safety.

Chantry Flat is a recreation area within the Angeles National Forest, about three miles into Big Santa Anita Canyon, and closely associated with the communities of Arcadia, Monrovia and Sierra Madre.

“Finally, please remember that the Angeles National Forest has enacted strict fire restrictions. With an above-normal fire season projected, using a fire on national forests in California, outside of developed campgrounds, is generally prohibited,” Clearwater said.

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