NEWS RELEASE: Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests & Thunder Basin National Grassland
Most Roads and Recreation Facilities Reopen Following Medicine Bow National Forest Wildland Fires Following multiple wildland fires in recent weeks on the Medicine Bow National Forest, most Forest roads as well as recreation areas and facilities are once again open for the public to enjoy.
(LARAMIE, Wyo.) July 17, 2012 –
Since early June many roads, trails and campgrounds have been closed for public safety in areas affected by the Cow Camp, Russell's Camp and Arapaho Fires. More than 112,000 acres have been affected by these fires on the Douglas Ranger District.
Similarly, the Squirrel Creek Fire resulted in the temporary closure of popular roads and recreation sites while burning nearly 11,000 acres on the Laramie Ranger District in late June and early July.
The status of affected roads and recreation facilities for both districts follows.
Douglas Ranger District
As of July 16, 2012 all Forest roads affected by fires are open.
Esterbrook Campground is now open.
Sunset Ridge Trail and Trailhead are now open.
Twin Peaks Trail (#618) is open.
Campbell Creek Campground and the LaPrele Guard Station are open.
Areas that remain closed for public safety at this time include the Laramie Peak Trail (#602) and Trailhead, the North Laramie River Trail (#625) and Trailhead, Friend Park Trail (#609), Harris Park Trail (#616), Roaring Fork Trail (#623) and Friend Park Campground.
Laramie Ranger District
Fox Creek (#311), Platte Access (#512) and Dry Park (#517) Roads are now open.
Lake Owen Campground and Day Use Areas are open.
The Medicine Bow Rail Trail is partially open; the closed portion is between the Lincoln Gulch Trailhead and Lake Owen.
Sheep Mountain Trail (#386) is closed for public safety.
Forest visitors should be aware that both fires still have hot spots that may occasionally flare up and produce visible smoke. However, these areas are either well within containment lines or in areas surrounded by burned out fuels and/or areas with noncombustible materials such as rock outcrops. While they may persist until suppressed by a season-ending precipitation event, fire managers remain confident that these will not pose a threat.
Although the public should not be alarmed if they see smoke in these areas, they are reminded to report potential new wildland fires by calling the Casper, Wyoming Dispatch Center at 307-261-7691, the Craig, Colorado Dispatch Center at 970-826-5037, or 911.
Visitors are also reminded to do their part to prevent wildland fires. Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are still in effect across the entire Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland. This means that open fires and charcoal grills are prohibited and smoking is only allowed in vehicles or buildings. Gas lanterns and cook stoves are safe to use as long as vegetation and combustible materials are cleared for three feet on all sides.
For more information on the status of roads, recreation facilities, or fire information please call the Laramie Ranger District at (307) 745-2300 or the Douglas Ranger District at (307) 358-4690. Visitors can also learn more at www.fs.usda.gov/mbr or follow us on Twitter @MBRRNFsTBNG.