News to warm hearts of hunters: White River lifts fire restrictions
All fire restrictions in the White River National Forest will be lifted today at noon, Forest officials announced Monday.
“We’ve had considerable rainfall during the past few weeks, and we are projecting continued cooler and wetter days ahead,” acting Forest supervisor Steve Deitemeyer said. “I am pleased we can finally provide the public with an opportunity to enjoy campfires this year on their public lands.”
Deitemeyer pointed out, however, that because of fires on more than 44,000 acres across the White River National Forest, some trails are subject to erosion. Also, high winds can bring down dead, standing trees. To steer clear of these hazards, campers should choose a campsite in an area that is at least a tree-length from trees that appear unstable.
The Big Fish Fire in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area, the Coal Seam Fire near Glenwood Springs, the Spring Creek Fire outside New Castle and the Thompson Creek Fire near Carbondale are considered to still be burning and are still being monitored. There is a chance that the fires will rekindle if conditions become drier and windier.
Several trails remain closed because of the Spring Creek Fire as a result of snags and the inability to clear trails. These trails, which are posted as closed, include Spring Creek Trail, No. 2068; East Elk Creek or Centennial Trail, No. 1841; Hadley Gulch Trail, No. 1840; and Boiler Springs Trail, No. 1843. These trails will be closed until Sept. 30, 2003, or until they are safely cleared.
“We are particularly concerned about hunters on the forest, particularly out-of-state hunters who may not be aware of the specific locations of fires on the forest,” Deitemeyer said.
The Forest Service is working closely with the Colorado Division of Wildlife in providing hunter information. Maps with the locations of fires in the forest are available at any of the White River National Forest’s offices, located in Aspen, Carbondale, Dillon, Eagle, Glenwood Springs, Meeker, Minturn and Rifle.
Finally, if you see a fire, report it immediately by calling 911.
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