Ex­treme fire dan­ger forces an­other na­tional for­est to close

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

DEN­VER » Ex­treme fire dan­ger prompted of­fi­cials to shut down a sprawl­ing for­est that in­cludes some of Colorado’s most stun­ning moun­tains in a re­gion that at­tracts tourists from around the world, a rare tac­tic also be­ing used in neigh­bor­ing states as the U.S. South­west strug­gles with se­vere drought.

Na­tional forests and parks in Ari­zona and New Mex­ico have al­ready been shut down as pre­cau­tions.

San Juan Na­tional For­est of­fi­cials in south­west­ern Colorado closed hun­dreds of miles of trails and thou­sands of miles of back roads to hik­ers, bik­ers, horse­back rid­ers and campers Tues­day to pre­vent the pos­si­bil­ity of an aban­doned camp­fire or any other spark from start­ing a wild­fire. It’s the first full clo­sure of a na­tional for­est in Colorado since 2002, which was an­other very dry year.

The clo­sure will re­main un­til suf­fi­cient pre­cip­i­ta­tion eases the fire dan­ger.

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