Forest Service allows limited public access to Seeley Fire burned area
A new closure order for the Seeley Fire Burned Area went into effect Aug. 15, allowing the public limited access to specific places on The Manti-La Sal National Forest.
The new order allows public use of Trough Springs Ridge Road (FSR 0018) Bull Pasture Trail (FST 072), Candland Mountain Trail (FST 398), Gentry Mountain Trail (FST 403), Gentry Hollow Trail (FST 348), Horse Canyon Trail (FST 076), Wild Cattle Hollow Trail (FST 401), and Wild Cattle Hollow Spur (FST 403).
Day-use will be allowed at campgrounds below the Forks of Huntington Campground to the Forest Boundary and above North Hughes Canyon to Electric Lake. Day-use is described as beginning one-half hour before sunrise and ending one-half hour after sunset. People are not allowed to camp overnight in any of the Forest Service campgrounds in Huntington Canyon below Electric Lake.
All use is prohibited at Big Rock, Bridges, Chute, Forks of Huntington, Old Folks Flat, South Hughes and Stuart Guard Station campgrounds.
Access is permitted on unburned portions of the general area described in the closure order. People are prohibited from being upon the burned portions of the fire scar.
A closure order and map can be obtained at Forest Service Offices in Ferron, Price and Ephraim or viewed at www.fs.usda.gov/mantilasal.
Most of the area and recreation sites remain closed due to hazards.
"Visitors entering the general area of the Seeley Fire need to be aware of the risks that surround them," said Carla Lee, safety officer for the Manti-La Sal National Forest. "There are falling trees, flash flooding, rolling rocks and logs, and unstable soil.
"If you visit the area, you need to be aware of all the dangers and take responsibility for your safety."
The prohibition against entering burned areas (the black) is intended to keep people away from many of the dangers such as falling trees, rolling logs and rocks or stump holes.
However flash flooding can originate in an area far away from where an individual may be, and quickly create a life threatening danger for them. People are urged to be weather aware, know the forecast, and watch for thunderclouds anywhere in the area. Lower slopes and drainages are especially prone to flooding and debris flows.
In the event of a flood people should climb to higher ground as quickly as they can. They should not attempt to drive through a flood. Two feet of fast-moving water can wash away a large vehicle.