Closure area for Williams Fork Fire shrinks
Trails in area impacted by wind
After a few days of light fire activity from the Williams Fork Fire, the U.S. Forest Service announced it’s shrinking the closure area to encompass only the places where the fire remains active.
The reduced closure area opens up all of Blue Ridge, Church Park, the Fraser Experimental Forest, St Louis Creek, Leland Creek, Elk Meadows and Vasquez Wilderness Area.
However, Vasquez Road is still closed due to a Grand County Water and Sanitation pipe replacement project that began earlier this summer and Little Muddy Creek Road is closed at the bridge due to damage.
Spots that remain within the closure area include County Road 30, the western half of Keyser Creek Road, Lake Evelyn Road, Keyser Ridge Road, Kinney Creek Road, and Jones Pass Road west of the pass.
Byers Peak Wilderness Area, as well as Keyser Ridge, Kinney Creek, Ute Peak Trailhead, Darling Creek, Williams Fork and South Fork trailheads are still in the closure area, along with the Sugarloaf, South Fork and Horseshoe Campgrounds.
Aside from the fire closure, elsewhere in the Sulphur Ranger District, trails are closed due to downed trees from the wind gusts that proceeded the winter storm last week.
Areas known to have experienced extensive blowdown stretch from the Vasquez Wilderness Area and Berthoud Pass to James Peak Protection Area, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and the Arapaho National Recreation Area.
Monarch Lake Loop is currently impassible, as is the Hi-Lonesome Trail. Campground managers also have temporarily closed the Big Rock Loop on Arapaho Bay due to downed and hazardous trees.
The Headwaters Trails Alliance also identified the Continental Divide, Jim Creek and Idlewild Trails as areas with significant impact from the storm.
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Surrounded by walls of flames, Grand County Sheriff’s Office deputies fanned out across the US Highway 34 and Colorado Highway 125 corridors to evacuate about 4,000 people from East Troublesome Fire on Oct. 21, 2020.