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Forests set to rescind B&B Complex closures
Some roads to stay closed, and winter-recreation visitors urged to be cautious
From Bend.com news sources
Friday, November 21, 2003 Posted: 12:28 PM
November 21 - The Willamette National Forest next Wednesday is lifting all remaining closure orders in the B and B Complex fire area, affecting portions of the Detroit and McKenzie River ranger districts, while the Deschutes National Forest rescinds closures in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness and the area south of Highway 20, on the Sisters Ranger District).
According to Bill Anthony, district ranger on the Sisters Ranger District, “We’ve had a period of winter-testing in the areas we’re opening. That is, we’ve got snow on the ground and we’ve experienced some wind storms.”
A Burned Area Emergency Response team removed many hazard trees near roads, trails and Sno-Parks south of Highway 20 in anticipation of winter recreation users entering the area, Anthony said. “People who visit the area should watch for hazard warning signs.”
The portion of the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness on the Deschutes National Forest will be reopened, but roads on the forest leading to trailheads will remain closed, according to Paul Engstrom, Sisters Ranger District recreation planner.
Visitors can access the wilderness from trailheads on the Willamette National Forest and at Santiam Pass, he said.
However, as Detroit district Ranger Paul Matter pointed out, “It’s important that the public understand that increased hazards created by the fire still exist. Hazardous trees remain standing in some areas and are unstable, especially in high. It’s important that the public understand that increased hazards created by the fire still exist.
winds or with snow loads. Burned-out stump holes can make the ground weak and subject to failure. Loose rocks and logs are unpredictable and can present the hazard of rolling debris.
Flash floods and mudflows may occur, especially in areas without vegetation. Ash and fallen needles can make for treacherous footing on trails. And the conditions in a burned forest can change constantly.
If people intend to travel into or near areas affected by the fire, they should remain alert at all times. They should know the forecasted weather before entering the area, and should continue to assess the weather conditions while in the area. They should let someone know where they are going and how they will get there. And, finally, they should stay clear of burned trees.
John Allen, district ranger on the McKenzie River Ranger District, noted, “This is the time of year when folks are anxious to access winter recreation sites, and this year we’re fortunate to have an early snowpack. Reopening these areas, while reminding winter recreationists to be cautious, makes sense.”
Read more . . .
Map of B and B Complex fire closure