Grizzly Creek Fire closures to be lifted Thursday
Boating reopens on the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon
All closures in the White River National Forest related to last year’s Grizzly Creek Fire are to be lifted, effective Thursday, the U.S. Forest Service announced Tuesday afternoon.
Areas that will be reopening after having been closed since the fire started Aug. 10 will be the No Name/Jess Weaver and Grizzly Creek trails, the Grizzly and Shoshone boat ramps and boat access all along the Colorado River, and areas south of Coffee Pot Road on the canyon’s north rim.
The Grizzly Creek Fire started Aug. 10 in Glenwood Canyon next to Interstate 70, resulting in a two-week closure of the interstate and all recreation within the fire area.
The fire ultimately burned about 33,000 acres before being declared contained Dec. 18. Although the fire was determined to be human-caused due to the proximity to I-70, an exact ignition source was not determined.
Seasonal Forest Service road closures that are typically in place through the spring remain in effect. For maps and other information visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.
The permit-based Hanging Lake Trail also will open separately May 1 by reservation only. Online reservations open Thursday at http://www.visitglenwood.com.
“We appreciate the public’s patience as we continue to manage the impacts from the largest wildfire in the history of the White River National Forest,” White River Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said in the Tuesday news release. “We are continuing to work closely with our partners on post-fire recovery and monitoring.”
He noted that long-term recovery efforts for the areas burned by the Grizzly Creek Fire will focus on natural regeneration and monitoring, with targeted reseeding and work projects.
“People who choose to recreate in the burned areas should be aware of the higher risk from hazard trees, rock fall and debris flows,” the release also advises.
“Hikers, boaters and other people recreating should prepare for reduced speeds on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon when traveling to and from rest areas and trailheads, including Hanging Lake,” the release continues. “Weather in the canyon can change quickly, including rain, limited visibility and other challenging road conditions.
“If rain is in the forecast, recreationists should anticipate a possible safety closure of I-70, rest areas, trailheads and the Glenwood Canyon bike path.”
White River National Forest spokesman David Boyd further advised that hikers and other canyon visitors check the weather forecast before setting out.
“An area that’s been burned like that is much more susceptible to rockfall, falling trees and other debris,” he said. “If you choose to go hiking in there, just be aware of that added risk. It’s going to be a little different than it was before the fire.”
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An explosion in Redstone’s Coal Basin Mine killed 15 miners on April 15, 1981.