Pine Ridge burn area to stay closed
Area near De Beque needs more time for rehabilitation, BLM managers say
The effects of the massive Pine Ridge Fire, which burned near De Beque in 2012, are still being felt today, as the Bureau of Land Management said Tuesday it will keep the burn area closed to public access into next year.
The temporary closure until July 11, 2014, means all motorized vehicles and foot traffic will be restricted in the burn area, due to potentially dangerous conditions and to reduce possible erosion, according to the BLM.
The lightning-ignited Pine Ridge Fire burned nearly 14,000 acres southwest of De Beque last year. The BLM said closure signs will be posted at main entry points to the burn area, and a map of the closure area is available at http://bit.ly/debeque.
Another lightning-ignited fire sparked about 30 miles east of Moab earlier this week, on Sinbad Ridge on the eastern edge of the Manti-LaSal National Forest. On Tuesday, the fire encompassed 100 acres and had just 2 percent containment, according to the Moab Interagency Fire Center.
Nearly 100 people were assigned to the fire Tuesday, assisted by three helicopters doing water drops on the blaze. Fire officials said that the fire is burning in steep, inaccessible terrain, but no structures are immediately threatened.
The long-burning East Fork Fire southeast of Montrose got closer to full-containment on Tuesday. Fire officials with the Ouray Fire District said the fire, burning 447 acres, was at 70 percent containment and showed little potential for spreading any further.
Three popular campgrounds in the area — Big Cimarron, Beaver Lake and Silver Jack — are again open, with some closures of nearby trails and roads.