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Forest recreation possible despite fires

People who want to hike or camp this Independence Day may have to rethink their plans, with lightning fires continuing to burn on the Tahoe National Forest.

Out of 25 fires ignited by lightning storms late on June 21, six remain uncontained.

The northernmost grove of Giant Sequoia trees growing in Placer Big Tree Grove narrowly escaped the Peavine Fire that consumed 552 acres, said Ann Westling, public information officer for the Tahoe National Forest.



Once fires are suppressed and hikers can return to their favorite trails, they will find some of them slightly charred, such as the Doolittle and Ridge trails near Maybert Road.

The Fall Fire, burning west of the popular Grouse Ridge nonmotorized area, has spared Sierra Nevada lakes, hiking trails, a fire lookout and campgrounds.




But the main access route along Bowman Lake Road remains closed from the dam at Bowman Reservoir south to Highway 20. This affects all back country hiking areas in the Grouse Lakes area as well as fishing and picnicking at Fuller and Rucker lakes.

Resource advisors are walking fire lines with crews to point out archeological sites and vulnerable plant and animal resources.

“They are working to identify any resources that crews should protect,” Westling said.

Access to the South Yuba River is limited near the town of Washington because of the closure of Maybert Road east of the town.

In Placer County, the Government Springs Fire, burning in the American River Complex, has caused the closure of Texas Hill Road (Forest Road 19) south of Interstate 80 at Emigrant Gap, including the North Fork, Onion Valley and Tunnel Mills campgrounds.

The Westville Fire, also in the American River Complex, has closed the Mumford Bar Trail and Trailhead Campground. Fire crews are using the China Wall area for helicopters.

Though some popular areas remain closed because of the fire, many others are open.

Areas that remain open to hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding include: The Pacific Crest Trail, the North Yuba River trails, Granite Chief Wilderness and Mount Lola.

Campgrounds remain open along Interstate 80 at Hampshire Rocks, Indian Springs and Big Bend Group Camp, at reservoirs east of Truckee, along the North Yuba River and into the Sierra Buttes area, east of Foresthill at Sugar Pine Reservoir, Big Reservoir and French Meadows.

To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail lbrown@theunion.com or call 477-4231.


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