Lost Solar Trail closure lifted as snow cools fire burning in Flat Tops
Although the Lost Solar Fire continues to burn in the remote Flat Tops Wilderness, recent snow has cooled much of the area, enabling White River National Forest officials to lift a safety closure implemented in September.
The fire, which has been burning since a lightning strike on Aug. 8, continues to burn in thick timber stands south of Lost Solar Trail No.1828, according to a press release. The trail was closed Sept. 10 when the fire grew to more than 3,000 acres.
While the safety closure was lifted Tuesday, officials advised those entering the forest to use caution and expect difficult conditions, including fallen trees on trails and unstable dead trees that are still standing but very weak. Smoke may be visible at times.
As of Tuesday the Lost Solar Fire had reached a perimeter of 4,755 acres. However, forest officials noted that visitors will notice that not all of the area within the fire’s perimeter is blackened.
While continuously monitoring the blaze, officials have allowed the fire to run its natural course, improving habitat for elk, deer and bighorn sheep within the Flat Tops Wilderness. The fire has burned with a low to moderate intensity, clearing debris and creating a patchwork of burned and unburned areas.
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Basalt hired a consultant to come up with a plan for the first major renovations since Arbaney Pool was constructed in the mid-1990s. The council will take its first look at the plan tonight.