San Juan National Forest to re-open Thursday

Posted at 11:44 AM, Jun 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-20 13:44:33-04

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the San Juan National Forest will re-open to the public Thursday afternoon.

BLM lands in the Durango area will also re-open.

The 1.8 million acres of land in southwest Colorado was closed last week due to extremely dry conditions and two wildfires burning in the area. Contributing factors to the National Forest re-opening are widespread precipitation over the weekend increasing fuel moisture, no new wildfire starts, and moderate predicted fire weather behavior.

The Forest Service said areas near the 416 and Burro fires will remain closed and Stage 2 Fire Restrictions will be in place. The areas that will remain closed include the segments of the Colorado Trail from Molas Pass to the Junction Creek terminus, Junction Creek Road and campground, and Lower Hermosa Road and campground.

Under Stage 2 Fire Restriction:

  • No open fires anywhere, including campgrounds, picnic areas and wilderness areas
  • No camp stoves and lanterns unless they have an on/off switch and us canister fuel (now white gas or kerosene)
  • No smoking except in side a building or vehicle
  • No discharge of firearms
  • No welding or torches (open flames)
  • Motorized vehicles must park in areas devoid of vegetation
  • Spark arrestors on generators, chainsaws, and OHV’s
  • Stage 2 Fire Restrictions will remain in place until further notice

Violating Stage 2 Fire Restrictions is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of no more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for a legal entity other than an individual, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

Firefighter and fire apparatus will be staged around the San Juan National Forest for several more weeks and will be available to quickly respond to any new ignitions.