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  1. #1

    Exclamation Fires and National Forest Closures

    So, no surprise, it's been a dry winter... and that means more fires. Predictions are that this year will be as bad or worse than 2012-2013. Already, we have a few fires burning in Southern CO, the most damaging being the 416 fire north of Durango... not too far east of the CT. I am planning a CT thru starting late June from Waterton Canyon, but already thinking of a plan B and going to another part of the country for a summer hike. Probably the CDT in WY/MT. I'd say the chances are high that the San Juan NF (already in Stage 2 Fire Restriction) will be going to Stage 3 (closure) and I have to assume the Rio Grande NF will follow suit. Those two areas alone encompass nearly half of the CT. I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that there will be no CT thru-hikes this summer... for anyone that is partially sane

    Anyone have any thoughts or inside information based on historical data from previous bad fire years?

  2. #2

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    It's not in the CT or CDT corridor but FYI, Santa Fe National Forest is closed in its entirety - trails, campgrounds, picnic grounds, FS roads - everything. Tomorrow's weather forecast calls for 50-70% chance of rain and thunderstorms "...some of which could be severe..." but then it's back to dry conditions come Monday through the week.

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/santa...d=FSEPRD582148

  3. #3

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    Yes, I am actually in Taos as I type this. Have been camping in Carson NF and expect them to close it as well. Smoke from Ute Park fire is visible from my location. Bad, bad year.

  4. #4

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    Oh, and the Santa Fe NF closure does affect a portion of the CDT. CDTC is advising thru-hikers to reroute between Cuba and Ghost Ranch, which means a dangerous road walk. They are now providing a shuttle, according to twitter feed.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by vagabond_veteran View Post
    Yes, I am actually in Taos as I type this. Have been camping in Carson NF and expect them to close it as well. Smoke from Ute Park fire is visible from my location. Bad, bad year.
    I'm spending 2 months in Santa Fe helping my girlfriend settle into her new condo. Normally, we'll live here January-April
    Quote Originally Posted by vagabond_veteran View Post
    Oh, and the Santa Fe NF closure does affect a portion of the CDT. CDTC is advising thru-hikers to reroute between Cuba and Ghost Ranch, which means a dangerous road walk. They are now providing a shuttle, according to twitter feed.
    I didn't realize that Santa Fe NF extended that far west to the CDT. Before I made my post above, I looked up the Carson NF website. There are no-fire restrictions and a few closed area from what I recall. Another week or two of this weather will close them too.

  6. #6
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    I loved hiking in the Canadian Rockies. Might be the place to go to avoid fires. For now.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    It's not in the CT or CDT corridor but FYI, Santa Fe National Forest is closed in its entirety - trails, campgrounds, picnic grounds, FS roads - everything. Tomorrow's weather forecast calls for 50-70% chance of rain and thunderstorms "...some of which could be severe..." but then it's back to dry conditions come Monday through the week.

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/santa...d=FSEPRD582148
    I have been watching this closely. Started on Thursday afternoon, up to 16k acres by Saturday. Ute Park, Cimarron, and Philmont Scout Ranch have all been evacuated. Hoping they are able to get it contained (currently at 0) as quickly and safely as possible and that the Sunday rains help.

    Anyone know how long they keep forests closed after a fire? I was planning on hiking a loop from Santa Fe up to Taos in 3 weeks that cuts right through the currently closed Santa Fe NF and goes through Eagle Creek and Valle Vidal on a route that is about 10-20 miles west of the current burn. Should I go ahead and make alternate plans or do they usually open up the forests pretty quick once the fire is out?

    I know that sounds pretty damn selfish. If the fire is still burning or the Santa Fe NF is still closed I may just drive up there and volunteer for the week. The people in those small NM towns are some of the kindest you will meet.

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  9. #9
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    Sounds like the CT is now closed from Molas Pass to Durango.

  10. #10
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powhound View Post
    Sounds like the CT is now closed from Molas Pass to Durango.
    Fact. There is a statement at the CT Association web page.
    Be safe Yall!
    Wayne

  11. #11

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    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...15337198486403

    Couldn't find any reference on the CT Foundation website but this is from their Facebook page.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Oops. It was Facebook in the other thread. Thanks for catching my mistake.
    Im not Facebook acceptable, but I could read it.
    Not the best place to put something as important as a closure of that magnitude.
    Wayne

  13. #13

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    Agree - it should be on their website. Perhaps whoever manages it is off on weekends.
    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Oops. It was Facebook in the other thread. Thanks for catching my mistake.
    Im not Facebook acceptable, but I could read it.
    Not the best place to put something as important as a closure of that magnitude.
    Wayne
    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Everybody is on Facebook. Right?
    👍😎
    Wayne

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Everybody is on Facebook. Right?
    
    Wayne
    Apparently a lot of Russians are....

  16. #16

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    I am in Durango now and let me tell you... it is VERY DRY. The 416 fire north of town is up to 8k acres and growing. A new fire, the "Burro" fire is about 13 miles to the north and west of the 416 fire and west of the CT... so, there are fires on both sides of the CT. Sections 26, 27, 28 of the CT are closed. As of right now, the 416 fire is approximately 5 miles east of the CT, at it's closest point. Fire management is focused on containing any spread to the south (populated areas) and east (highway 550) which means the CT corridor is of little concern, and rightly so. Let's hope for an early monsoon!
    IMG_1781.JPG

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    I just read a news report.
    The San Juan NF and the Durango Silverton Train are closed.
    Wayne

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    I was going to start late June as well. Does anyone think it is worth heading out starting late June?

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    When I worked 911, I hated brush fire season! Please, everyone, do not go into these fire regions!

  20. #20
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-M View Post
    I was going to start late June as well. Does anyone think it is worth heading out starting late June?
    The only accurate information will be coming from the San Juan NF. Call one of the offices. The folks at the office in Pagosa Springs have always been helpful to me.
    Wayne

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