Forest Service reopens Clark Fork Road on Summit Ranger District
SONORA, California – Following significant hazard tree mitigation after the Donnell Fire, Clark Fork Road reopens today at 5 p.m. Fence Creek remains closed until the hazard tree work is completed.
“Logging operations began early this spring to fell and remove the many hazard trees left standing after last year’s Donnell Fire,” said Sarah LaPlante, Mi-Wok/Summit District Ranger. “Although we had hoped to complete this work several weeks ago, the extent of the work needed, paired with the late winter weather, delayed the safe opening of this road,” LaPlante added.
The Forest has changed considerably after the fire and visitors are cautioned to remain vigilant while recreating in the Donnell Fire footprint. “Although you may access much of the burned area, it is your responsibility to make wise decisions and be aware of the many new hazards in the forest.” LaPlante said.
A few precautions you should consider when visiting the Donnell Fire burn area:
- Check with any Stanislaus ranger district office for closed roads, trails, or areas, check the weather forecast for rain and or high winds and avoid burned areas during weather events. Besides an increased risk of falling limbs and trees, you may face dangerous flooding and debris flows.
- 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. Dead trees kill people every year; please take them seriously.
- Watch for signs of recent avalanche, mudslides, or rockfall. Consider turning around and don’t stop in the path of these areas. Remember that burned soils are fragile and more likely to erode and slide, particularly in drainages and steep areas.
- Cell phone access is extremely limited on much of the Forest. In case of an emergency, have a plan of action for how to get yourself help. If you do have phone access, call 911 in case of emergency. Leave your plans with a friend at home so they know where to look for you if you don’t return home.
Although Clark Fork Road is opening, visitors should be prepared to find minor debris and dirt still on or near the roadway and should stay vigilant while driving. Some recreation sites remain closed as seasonal opening operations continue, LaPlante added. “We have been working with the permit holders and campground concessionaires that operate on Clark Fork Road, and most are open and beginning to operate.”
To learn more about open and closed roads, trails and campgrounds, please visit the Stanislaus National Forest recreation web page at https://go.usa.gov/xyx6e, or contact any ranger district front desk if you have questions about what sites and trails are open.
Stanislaus NF Supervisor’s Office: 209-532-3671
Calaveras Ranger District: 209-795-1381
Groveland Ranger District 209-962-7825
Summit Ranger District at 209-965-3434
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