Wednesday, September 25, 2013

More trails opened in wildfire burn area

Greenhorn and Deer Creek remain closed


By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer

    Additional trails north of Ketchum have been opened for public use in the wake of the Beaver Creek Fire, and Warm Springs Road has been opened over Dollarhide Summit, west of Ketchum.
    According to a new area closure map released by the Sawtooth National Forest on Monday, newly opened trails include:
- Oregon Gulch.
- Baker Lake and Norton Lake, though Baker Creek Road remains closed to motor vehicles past the East Fork Road.
- Warfield Creek, Red Warrior Creek, the Warfield-Red Warrior Connector Trail, and the South Fork Warm Springs Trail, all on the south side of Warm Springs Road.
    “The main thing is we want to keep people out of the burned areas where it burned pretty hot,” Ketchum District Ranger Kurt Nelson said.
    The Greenhorn Gulch and Deer Creek drainages remain closed to public use, as do trails on the north side of Warm Springs Creek upstream from the confluence with Rooks Creek. Nelson had earlier said those areas would probably remain closed at least until winter.
    Nelson said he had hoped to open the trails in Greenhorn Gulch in the area burned by the Castle Rock Fire in 2007, but decided to keep those trails closed because the lower end of access to them was severely burned by the Beaver Creek Fire. He also said homeowners along upper Greenhorn Gulch Road, which is a private road open to public access to the national forest, had requested that traffic remain as sparse as possible while rehabilitation work is going on at those properties.
    Nelson said most of Baker Creek Road remains closed to motor vehicles because a culvert was removed to permit better drainage. However, the road is open to foot and horse use, primarily for the benefit of hunters.
    “While we are reducing the area closure for the Beaver Creek Fire, I am asking the public to use only trails where it is open to the public for use,” Nelson said. “There are many trails that are open to the public. These trails are safe, the scenery is beautiful and trail users can have a wonderful experience.”
    The Beaver Creek Fire was ignited by lightning on Aug. 7 in the Fairfield Ranger District. It was declared contained on Sept. 6.
Greg Moore: gmoore@mtexpress.com




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