Forest Service closes trail due to Granite Lake Fire |

Forest Service closes trail due to Granite Lake Fire

Staff report
A flyover of the Granite Lakes fire last week shows it is burning in scattered timber at a high elevation. The fire was kicked up by gusty winds on Saturday and smoke became visible.
U.S. Forest Service/courtesy photo

The White River National Forest issued a temporary area closure Tuesday on a lightly traveled road and trail above Fryingpan Valley because of the Granite Lake Fire.

Trail 1940, the South Fork Trail, was closed from the trailhead in the Fryingpan Valley to South Fork Pass. The trail hooks into the Lost Man Loop on its southern end.

The U.S. Forest Service also closed Forest Road 504 at its junction with 504.1E.

The closures will remain in effect for an unknown amount of time, depending on the behavior of the Granite Lake Fire. The wildfire was first detected Sept. 21 in a remote area of the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness. The fire had grown to nearly 700 acres as of Monday night. It is about 13 miles southeast of the settlement of Meredith.

“Despite the high winds throughout the area, the Granite Lake Fire remains at approximately 695 acres,” the Forest Service said in a statement Tuesday. “No significant additional growth has been observed.”

The fire isn’t threatening structures but it has been pushed toward water diversion infrastructure. Federal firefighters are monitoring the wildfire by the air and ground but not sending personnel into the steep, potentially hazardous terrain. The fire is hemmed in by rocky areas, though some growth is still possible because of windy conditions, the Forest Service said.

Smoke from the fire could be periodically visible from the Aspen, Leadville and Summit County areas.