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Stanislaus National Forest again revises Donnell Fire closure order

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avatar Stanislaus National Forest again revises Donnell Fire closure order
September 07, 2019 11:07AM
Order opens more roads, trails on forest; some areas closed until Dec. 31, 2019


SONORA, Calif. – Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor Jason Kuiken signed forest order STF-16-2019-16, again amending the forest areas closed due to the Donnell Fire. The revision is scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2019, although as conditions allow other areas may reopen.

“The original forest order was signed to protect the public from risk of hazard trees, the high potential for debris flow and the risk from rock fall and flooding, and with this revised forest order that remains true for some areas that are still at high risk,” Kuiken said. “We have been removing hazard trees on roads and several trails are ready to reopen.”

Summit and Mi-Wok District Ranger Sarah LaPlante said Seven Pines, Disaster Creek and Arnot Creek trails, as well as Disaster Creek and Arnot Creek trailheads, are reopening. “We’ve had some amazing assistance from partners who have worked with the forest to fell hazard trees and repair trail infrastructure so we could reopen these trails. A big thank you to Kennedy Meadows, who took on the trail work on the Seven Pines Trail. Thanks to them, the public can enjoy these beautiful trails again.”

According to LaPlante, while there still are hazard trees along all trails and throughout the burned forest, the most severe of the hazards along several trails have been felled. “Although we are opening additional trails to the public, we want to caution that the trails and general forest are in a different condition after the fire, and those who chose to recreate in these areas should pay close attention to their surroundings. Please stay safe as you enjoy your forest,” LaPlante said.

Considerations for recreating in burned areas:
  • Check with any Stanislaus ranger district office for any forest closures orders for roads, trails, or areas. Be sure to ask for current creek crossing conditions if your route will cross one.
  • Keep an eye on dead and fire-weakened trees as you hike and choose open areas or green forest to stop and rest. Keep an eye out for large broken branches still hanging in trees, and remember, dead trees can fall at any time! Do not linger under them.
  • Check the weather forecast for rain and or high winds. Late summer and fall can mean thunderstorms. Know how to keep you and your family safe.
  • Consider hiking trails that do not have large creek crossings or plan a loop to not cross large creeks in the afternoon.
  • Because communications in the Sierra Mountains may be limited, please be sure a family member or friend not traveling with you is aware of your destination, route, and when you plan to return before you leave home.
The closure order still includes forest roads 6N34Y, 6N33Y (Double Dome Road) and 6N06 (Fence Creek Road). Trails that remain closed include 20E08 (Eagle Creek Trail), 19E06 (Wheats Meadow Trail) and 19E05 (Dardanelle Creek Trail). In addition, Fence Creek Campground, Wheats Meadow Trailhead and County Line Trailhead remain closed. For a complete list of roads and recreation areas, view the forest order and accompanying map at https://go.usa.gov/xUvWQ.

The Donnell Fire ignited at 5:49 p.m. Aug. 1, 2018 near Donnell Lake on Highway 108 east of Pinecrest. It burned more than 36,000 acres before being officially noted as out Dec. 17, 2018.
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