Sonora, CA…Stanislaus National Forest Deputy Supervisor Scott Tangenberg signed forest order STF-16-2018-15, further revising the forest areas closed due to the Donnell Fire. Campgrounds and day use areas on Highway 108 east of Donnell Vista remain closed, but OHV recreation areas, trails and roads near Niagara Creek are now open to visitors. In addition, trails and areas west of Highland and Weiser creeks on Calaveras Ranger District are now open. This revised closure is based on the current and expected fire behavior and safety concerns due to prior fire activity. It will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2018, or until replaced or rescinded.
Crews and firefighters with heavy equipment and driving emergency vehicles continue to work in active fire areas. For crew and public safety, Forest Order 16-2018-15 identifies areas of Summit and Calaveras ranger districts that remain closed to public access. The forest order and accompanying map can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xUvWQ.
Visitors wanting to enjoy their OHVs can now access Niagara OHV trails and camping areas, as long as weather conditions keep roads open, Tangenberg said. “Hunters will also find more areas where they can seek deer, too. The closure area continues to shrink, but there are areas that remain closed. We have installed signs and posted notices to alert the public about these temporary closures. We ask everyone to remain outside the closure area until it reopens.”
Some badly severely burned areas will remain closed through the winter, Tangenberg said. “After a fire, burned areas are at higher risk for debris flows and rockfalls. We encourage anyone in the burn area to remain vigilant and pay close attention to weather advisories and warnings.”
The Donnell Fire ignited at 5:49 p.m. Aug. 1, 2018 near Donnell Lake on Highway 108 east of Pinecrest. It has so far burned more than 36,000 acres and is 90 percent contained.
# # #