Forest Service reopens more of wildfire burn scars in time for hunting season

Sky-Hi News staff report

As a result of the efforts of multiple collaborative post-fire recovery across northern Colorado, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests have reopened more areas that have been closed since last year’s wildfires and this summer’s monsoons.

Areas in Grand County include the Keyser Ridge area in the Williams Fork Fire burn scar and the western side of Stillwater Pass off CO Highway 125, which experienced significant impacts from the summer monsoons following the East Troublesome Fire.

“So much great work has been done with partners, volunteers and Forest Service staff to stabilize and rehabilitate the burned areas this year,” Deputy Forest Supervisor Aaron Mayville said in a statement. “While there is still more work to do, we are particularly glad to be able to open this terrain for hunters in advance of archery and muzzleloader seasons.”

While many areas are reopening, the public is reminded that burned areas contain many critical hazards. Loose debris can roll down hillsides, burned trees can fall without notice, unseen hazards such as burned stumps exist off roads and trails, and rainstorms can cause rapid landslides.

Be sure to check local weather information and monitor for the risk of flooding in burned areas. Many areas are open to foot-travel only to allow recovering soils to stabilize and vegetation to grow.

Additionally, some areas remain closed due to extensive damage and continued rehabilitation work with heavy equipment including Kinney Creek Road, Cabin Creek Road and Kaufman Creek Road in Grand County, which all experienced extreme damage during the monsoons.

The public is asked to stay out of closed areas both for safety and to prevent further damage and allow recovery work to occur. Active fire recovery operations, such as helicopter mulching, may take place in open areas. The public is asked to avoid these areas while work is taking place.

To see maps of what areas are open as well as important fire restrictions and food storage requirements, visit the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests’ Know Before You Go page.

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