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Campground Closings-Fire Closes Carlsbad Caverns N.P.

June 14, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Following are reports from the nation’s media about campgrounds that may be closed due to weather or other conditions:

IDAHO

It’s still winter in the “high country” around McCall and New Meadows, Idaho, where considerable snow remains in many of the Payette National Forest’s recreational areas.

These unusual conditions have prevented the McCall and New Meadows Districts from opening several campgrounds. Most of them will likely be open by the 4th of July weekend, KIVI-TV, Boise, reported.

Warren Wagon Road, north of McCall heading towards Burgdorf still has between 2 and 5 feet of snow on the road bed for approximately 15 miles. Valley County is plowing the road and it should be open this week or next depending on weather and the pace of work.

Campgrounds conditions and expected openings are as follows:

  • Upper Payette Lake Campground – Approimately. 4 feet of snow remains in the campground. Workers hope to open this spot around the 4th of July.
  • Burgdorf and Jeanette Campgrounds – These two favorites are open but lack of access via Warren Wagon Road has essentially closed these sites. They should be open by the 4th of July.
  • Chinook Campground – The campground and trailhead are open but access is also blocked by the snow on Warren Wagon Road. It should be open by 4th of July. Almost all the heavily used trails (Victor Creek, Twenty-mile, Willow Basket, Bear Pete, and Cougar Creek) are still covered with snow (4-6 feet). Some of these trails may be open by the 4th of July but some may remain snow covered until the middle of July.
  • Goose Lake Road is still snow covered just past Brundage Mountain Ski Area and is blocking access to Grouse Campground and Hazard Lake Campground. About 4-6 feet of snow remains in these campgrounds and depending on the weather, could remain snow covered until mid–July.
  • Lick Creek Road is still snow covered at the Forest Boundary (3-4 feet at the start with 8-10 feet at the summit); and may remain this way after the 4th of July.
  • It appears that Lake Fork Campground will be open by the 4th of July.
  • The Paddy Flat area is opening up fast. The guard station is open and Kennally Creek Campground is now open to the public.
  • Bear Basin Mountain Bike trails are becoming available and should be in good shape as the weather starts to dry out.

NEW MEXICO

Officials say the “Loop Fire” burning near Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico has burned more than 14,000 acres and is now threatening buildings at the park and nearby White’s City.

The fire was first spotted shortly after 2 p.m. Monday (June 13), burning in steep and rugged terrain, 15 miles southwest of Carlsbad, N.M. Officials are unsure of the cause of the fire, now burning through the brush and grass around the park, KVIA-TV, El Paso, Texas, reported.

Officials say that the fire is burning in steep and rugged terrain along State Highway 7 going into Carlsbad Caverns National Park off of U.S. 62/180. Crews are working aggressively to secure the fire perimeter by conducting burn-out operations on different sections of the fire but specifically around the community of White City, N.M.

Due to the proximity of the fire to the Carlsbad Caverns complex, the park was closed and all visitors and park employees evacuated. Park officials say that all hikers and cave researchers known to be in the back country area are all in and accounted for.

Fire crews worked overnight to keep the fire south of Dark Canyon Road and west of U.S .62/180. A total of 200 firefighters are on the scene, battling the fire.

In addition to battling the blaze on the ground, an Air Attack asset will be flying the fire in the morning for both mapping and reconnaissance missions, and a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place.

Battling the fire are assets from the National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service and area volunteer departments from Eddy County. Officials add that additional air and ground resources are on order and should be arriving Tuesday morning.

Officials are asking persons with health or respiratory issues to take precautions, as the smoke from the fire will impact the communities of White City, Carlsbad, Artesia, and surrounding areas.

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