LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Officials are closing two forest areas near the Las Vegas Valley, both recent sites of the Mahogany Fire and the Cottonwood Fire.
A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has been formed to address emergency treatments of the land burned in the Mahogany Fire, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
The team of scientists and specialists used field surveys and remote sensing data to determine short and long-term efforts to "minimize threats to human life and mitigate unacceptable degradation to natural and cultural resources in the Mahogany Fire burned area," USDA said.
About 7,200 acres will be closed from July 24 through Sept. 30, 2025 at 12:01 a.m. "or until rescinded, whichever comes first" to allow the area to naturally recover.
The length of the closure is also to keep the public from hazardous material like "burned trees, including falling trees and stump holes, runoff, and the possibility of vehicles being stranded on Forest Service Roads 560 and 560A during or after rain events."
Through the next year, the team will assess additional protections and repairs to infrastructure, the USDA said.
The Mahogany Fire burned more than 2,700 acres from June 28 to July 7, when full containment was reached.
As of Saturday, officials say the 2,800-acre Cottonwood Fire is 97% contained and the cause was determined to be lightning from a storm on the area.
Parts of the Late Night Trail, 3 Mile Smile Loop and the Dead Horse Loop have been impacted by the fire, but still remain intact, according to the USDA.
The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and Bureau of Land Management Southern Nevada District set temporary closures in the area on parts of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, Red Rock National Conservation Area, and Las Vegas Field Office "due to public safety concerns during fire suppression and rehabilitation activities."
The closure began July 24 with an end date to be determined when "the area is once again safe for the public use."
USDA said those who don't comply with the closure orders could face criminal and civil penalties, including fines and jail time.
“Our number one priority is firefighter and public safety. This closure will allow firefighters to work to gain control of the fire as well as mitigate hazards within the fire perimeter that could adversely affect the public. We will reopen the area as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Marty Woods, Fire Management Officer for the SMNRA, in a written statement.