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Jul 18, 2012 9:01 PM by Siera Santos, ssantos@koaa.com

Rampart Reservoir to remain closed for "a long time"

The Waldo Canyon Fire may be 100-percent contained, but there's still a lot of work to do.

"They're going to be in there doing what we call snagging," says Dawn Sanchez with the U.S. Forest Service.

"Snagging" is the process whereby firefighters cut down fire-weakened trees. With 30 crews working near Rampart Reservoir, far more trees need to be chopped down than there are boots on the ground. The road leading up to the reservoir is full of hazards. Erosion from flash floods presents another problem because debris washed down on slick slopes can "hurt a lot of people" and occurs rapidly.

About three miles from Rapart Reservoir, there are still hot spots. Fire officials will continue to this area burn because the terrain is too trecherous to send in ground crews.

"It's going to be a long time before any of these areas are open again," Sanchez says.

However, people have been sneaking into the burn area by any means, ignoring road blocks and forcing fire crews to spend time escorting trespassers out. Sanchez wants to stress how dangerous the area is and ask the public to stop.

"It's really important to keep the public out because it is so dangerous in here," she says.

All trails and roads are closed. Violators could be fined up to $5,000 and spend up to six months in jail.

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